LOS ANGELES - The ninth-largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history will be on the line in Saturday, Sept.30, evening's Powerball drawing, an estimated $960 million, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association, which conducts the game.
No tickets have been sold matching all six numbers since July 19, when a ticket worth $1.08 billion was sold at a downtown Los Angeles mini-market, the seventh-largest jackpot in U.S. history. Since then, there have been 30 consecutive drawings without a grand prize winner.
Saturday's jackpot is the fourth-largest in the history of the game, which began in 1992. There have been five Mega Millions drawings with larger jackpots.
The odds of matching all five numbers and the Powerball number are 1 in 292.2 million, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association. The overall chance of winning a prize is 1 in 24.9.
Ticket sales end at 7 p.m., and the drawing will be held at 7:59 p.m.
The Powerball game is played in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands.
Buying tickets at a store where tickets with large jackpots have been sold in the past will not increase a purchaser's chance of winning a jackpot, according to USC mathematics professor Ken Alexander.
"The chance that a given place will sell a winning lottery ticket is just related to how many tickets they sell," Alexander told City News Service.
However, players wanting a better chance of avoiding sharing the jackpot should choose numbers that aren't selected as often, Alexander said. Lottery players frequently choose the date of their birthdays as one of their numbers, so numbers higher than 31 would be played less, Alexander said.