Baton Rouge, La. – The Powerball jackpot for the May 18 drawing swelled to $600 million Friday, the highest ever for the game. The cash value is now $376.9 million. Only one jackpot in the world has been higher—the $640 million Mega Millions jackpot won in March 2012.
The Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) that operates Powerball on behalf of 45 participating lotteries, including the Louisiana Lottery, made the announcement Friday morning based on a nationwide surge in sales. Before the increase, the advertised jackpot was $550 million.
The jackpot was last hit on March 30 and Saturday's drawing is the 14th in the current run. Statewide Powerball sales total more than $5 million for the week beginning Sunday, May 12 and that number is expected to climb ahead of Saturday's drawing. Powerball tickets must be purchased by 9 p.m. that night.
Louisiana has had 14 Powerball jackpot winners since joining the game in 1995, most recently in July 2010 with a jackpot of $85.7 million. The largest Powerball jackpot ever won is $587.5 million in November 2012, which was split between two winning tickets.
Be sure to watch Saturday night's drawing live on Fox 8 TV.