Powerball is an American lottery game sold in 44 jurisdictions as a shared jackpot game. It is coordinated by the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL), a non-profit organization formed by an agreement with lotteries. Powerball is a game whose advertised jackpot starts at $20 million (annuity) and can roll into the hundreds of millions over many drawings. The jackpot is paid as an 30-payment annuity; players may choose cash instead. Powerball drawings are held Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:59 p.m. Eastern time. The game currently uses a 5/59 (white balls) + 1/39 (Powerballs) matrix to select its winning numbers. Each selection of six numbers costs players $1 for the base game; for an extra $1, they can multiply a non-jackpot prize by up to 5x (10x during promotional periods) with the Power Play multiplier. The official cutoff time for ticket sales is one hour before drawings; some jurisdictions cut sales earlier. The drawings usually are held at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. Occasionally, drawings are held "on location", often to promote the game's expansion to a new jurisdiction. The results of drawings are not official until they are audited by the accounting firm LWBJ, LLP.
Powerball holds the record for the largest single prize awarded by an American lottery; on February 18, 2006, one game won the $365 million jackpot. The eight people sharing the ticket chose the cash option, splitting $177,270,519.67 before withholdings.
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