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Powerball jackpot nears $1 billion as drawing for giant prize nears

DES MOINES, Iowa — A Powerball jackpot of nearly $1 billion will tempt lottery players Monday night who think they could strike it rich after three months without a big winner.

Since New Year’s Day, no one has won the $975 million Powerball jackpot, a series of 38 consecutive drawings without anyone matching the game’s six numbers. If no one wins the jackpot on Monday or Wednesday evening, the game will tie a record 41 consecutive draws on Saturday evening.

The reason for the jackpot drought is simple: the odds of winning the top prize are miserable, at 1 in 292.2 million. It is these odds that create the big jackpots designed to attract attention and drive sales.

The $975 million prize is for one winner who makes the rare decision to be paid out over 30 years through an annuity. Nearly all winners will choose the cash option instead, which would amount to $471.7 million for Monday night’s drawing.

Powerball is played in 45 states plus Washington, DC, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.