Lottery already seeing payday from Powerball pot

BOSTON (STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE) – Saturday night could bring a windfall for a lucky Powerball player, but ticket sales leading up to the historic $800 million jackpot have already provided a healthy payday for the Massachusetts Lottery.

Since the Powerball jackpot was last claimed on Nov. 4 — a streak of 18 drawings without a jackpot winner — the Massachusetts Lottery has sold more than $30 million in $2 Powerball tickets. Those sales, the Lottery said, have generated approximately $12.6 million in local aid revenue for the state.

A Lottery official told the News Service on Friday that once December revenue numbers are finalized, the month is expected to show an increase over December 2014, and January’s revenue total will likely reflect a “considerable increase” over January 2015 as a result of the record jackpot.

For every dollar of Powerball sales, 50 cents is put back into the prize pool, 42 cents is returned to the state, 6 cents is used to pay sales commissions and bonuses, and 2 cents covers administrative costs associated with the game, according to the Lottery.

The latest estimate, with about 30 hours for players to buy tickets and the jackpot to grow, was that roughly 64 percent of all possible Powerball combination had been claimed, the Lottery official said.

Since Nov. 4, tickets sold in Massachusetts have won $4,521,642 in prizes, including a ticket sold in Plymouth that won a $1 million prize in Wednesday’s drawing, the Lottery said.

Powerball tickets will be available for sale at Lottery retailers across the state until 9:45 p.m. Saturday. The drawing will take place Saturday at 10:59 p.m. in Tallahassee, Florida.

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