Tonight's Powerball Jackpot is Up to a Record $1.9B

The jackpot is the world's largest ever lottery prize.

NBC Universal, Inc.

Monday night's Powerball drawing could make one person the lucky winner of the biggest lottery jackpot in history -- with $1.9 billion on the line, and a cash option of $929.1 million.

In Hawthorne, at the Bluebird Liquor Store, customers lined up around the block for their tickets over the weekend, and to touch the bluebird statue there for good luck.

At the Chevron station in North Hollywood, people were fantasizing about what they would do with all that cash.

Jaime Rivera, one of those customers, told NBC4 that if he won the Powerball jackpot, "I would buy me a burrito stand in Juarez. Why not?"

The jackpot is the world's largest ever lottery prize. It's also tied for the number of consecutive drawings without a jackpot winner, with 40 drawings since the last winner on Aug. 3.

At the Bluebird Liquor Store, the powerball sign couldn't even list the full winnings -- the number was too high.

The Powerball jackpot now stands at a record $1.9 billion after no ticket matched all six numbers during Saturday night’s lottery drawing.

That's got some SoCal residents dreaming of what they'd do with the winnings.

"I like working, and I enjoy my job," said customer Markie Joseph when asked if she would quit her job if she won the lottery. "I'd probably buy a pretty nice house."

"Probably not," said Powerball ticket purchaser Rudy Gutierrez when asked if he'd show up at work the day after winning.

After no tickets were sold before Saturday's drawing with all 6 winning numbers, the jackpot increased to record highs.

The last series of winning numbers were 28, 45, 53, 56 and 69, with a Powerball number of 20.

How is Powerball played?

Winning the May prize requires you to match all six drawn numbers. That results in a chance of winning 1 in 292,201,338.

You can also earn money by hitting less than six numbers. The lowest amount you can earn is $4.

Each ticket costs $2, though you can pay an additional $1 for the Power Play option, which multiplies non-jackpot winnings by two, three, four, five, or 10 times the amount. An exception to this is the Power Play prize for hitting five numbers, as it always doubles to $2 million if you win.

Powerball is played in 45 states of the country, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Ilsands. The lottery is not played in Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah.

What Are the Powerball Odds?

Even as more people buy tickets in the hopes of winning, the odds remain the same: 1 in 292.2 million.

It's slightly more likely that you'll win this Powerball jackpot than the odds were of winning this summer's $1.28 billion Mega Millions prize.

But it's still more likely that you'll get struck by lightning, or randomly select an active NASA astronaut from the entire living U.S. population, than it is that you'll become a billionaire after tonight's Powerball drawing.

The odds of winning also don't change whether the ticket buyer uses Quick Pick or selects their own numbers, though Quick Pick is more common.

Despite having equal odds, both options have their pros and cons.

Playing Quick Pick is the fastest way to play, but leaves the possibility open for repeat numbers and combinations.

Selecting your own numbers gives you complete control over your numbers, but can take longer to play in stores, especially when the jackpot reaches enticing numbers for the non-regulars to want to participate.

Which California Schools Get Money from the Lottery?

The vast majority of lottery funds -- about 80% -- goes to kindergarten, elementary, junior high and high schools. About 20% is shared amongst colleges.

Roughly $39 billion dollars has been distributed to California schools since 1985. According to the California Lottery, $10.5 billion of that money has gone to LA County schools, with $3.4 billion going to the Los Angeles Unified School District.

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