What a year for Powerball.
The cash jackpot for Saturday's drawing is the game's second biggest cash jackpot ever -- $212.8 million. And the record of $224.6 million was just set in August.
Because no one matched Wednesday night's numbers (8, 18, 24, 30 and 39, with a Powerball of 26), the annuity prize rose again, to $325 million. That's the fifth biggest in the game's history -- and two of the others also happened this year, including $337 million in that August drawing and $336 million in February.
The game's biggest annuity ever, $365 million, set in 2006, will likely be left far behind if the jackpot rolls over just one more time.
After all, this jackpot is up $70 million in just one drawing, and could even be revised upward before tomorrow night.
Also, there's little competition from the other major multi-state lottery, Mega Millions, because its jackpot for tonight is a far smaller $41 million for the annuity, $31 million for the cash. (No one matched all the Mega Millions numbers drawn Tuesday: 9, 13, 22, 38 and 52, with a Mega Ball of 44.)
Powerball has never had a jackpot this large not get hit.
Then again, in March, Mega Millions had a $363 million jackpot missed, resulting in the biggest lottery prize ever, annuity of $656 million, $471 million cash.
Powerball charges $2 a ticket, so for every million tickets sold, that's twice as much cash as the $1 tickets of Mega Millions -- and half the chance the jackpot will be hit.
The mind reels if Powerball somehow rolls over twice.
Is a billion-dollar jackpot possible? Only time will tell.