AUSTIN, Texas — The Powerball jackpot Saturday night could be even higher than the record $600 million being advertised, possibly rivaling the largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history, a Texas Lottery official said on Saturday.
“Oftentimes, the advertised amount is lower than what the actual jackpot ends up being,” said Kelly Cripe, a spokeswoman for the Texas Lottery. “It’s entirely possible this $600 million jackpot will end up being a bigger jackpot.”
The Powerball record in November was advertised at $550 million, but ended up being $587.5 million when the winning numbers were drawn, thanks to last-minute sales.
Powerball officials told participating states on Saturday they would not be raising the advertised number for the drawing, Cripe said.
There had been speculation the advertised amount for the lottery would be increased to surpass $656 million — the largest jackpot in U.S. history, set by the Mega Millions jackpot in March 2012. That prize was split between winners in Maryland, Kansas and Illinois.
The lottery is offered in 43 states, including Maine, as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Chances of winning the Powerball on Saturday were one in 175 million, Cripe said.
If Saturday night’s drawing yields no winner, all records will be shattered as the jackpot for Wednesday’s drawing would go to $925 million.
As exciting as it would be to win nearly a billion dollars next week, players across the country were trying their luck with tickets to take Saturday’s jackpot.
“It’s only a couple bucks for a small daydream,” said Russell Williams, 35, a salesman in Austin, Texas.
In New York City, talent acquisition agent Michelle Amici is also playing and said she would use the winnings to satisfy a few of her passions.
“Not sure that I’d buy anything,” she said. “Rather, I’d attempt to quench my wanderlust by traveling the world. I’d also donate a large portion to education reform.”
For Texas marketing professional Becky Arreaga, the odds are not so long that she is discouraged about her chances.
“As long as the odds are one in anything, I’m in,” said Arreaga, a partner at Mercury Mambo marketing firm in Austin. “I truly believe I could be the one.”
The popular lottery has not had a winner in two months.
The $2 tickets allow players pick five numbers from 1 to 59, and a Powerball number from 1 to 35. The numbers will be drawn at 10:59 p.m. Saturday .