Powerball Jackpot winner could earn $675 million, what will it take?

The Powerball jackpot that reached $675 million has got more people on a quest to find a winning combination of numbers. With an estimated cash payout of $341 million, 

Powerball ticket sales were brisk at Lucky Rudy's, in Rosenberg, which bills itself as the #1 lottery ticket seller in Texas. Its walls are lined with winning tickets worth countless dollars paid out to players. 

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Among those taking a chance at big money, there is a mix of approaches to choose the numbers they hope will win. 

"Honestly, birthday numbers," says one woman buying tickets, "Kids birthdays; family birthdays." "I did quick-pick, because honestly, I don't pick good numbers, so maybe a quick-pick wins," says another woman. 

"The odds are always against you when playing these lotteries," says Cathy Poliak, who teaches statistics and data science at the University of Houston. 


She says, despite special numbers that people play; tracking patterns; there's no difference in choosing one number over another. The only way to beat the Powerball's 1 in 292-million odds, she says, is to play 'all' the combinations, 

"There are 292 million possible ways that you can choose these numbers. In order for one person to get it correct, that means they have to buy 292 million 'different' combinations." 


The long odds for the Powerball and Mega-Millions multi-state lotteries are designed to build big jackpots. 

At some point, when they get 'big enough,' more people play and more of those combinations are used, which increases the likelihood that one of them will be a winner.