The drawing for the record $1.9 billion Powerball jackpot has been delayed over security protocols


The California Lottery announced late Monday night that it’s delaying the Powerball drawing because officials need more time to complete security protocols.

The delay is caused by one participating lottery that needs more time to process its sales, the Multi-State Lottery Commission told CNN in a statement. The drawing is still planned to occur after that procedure is completed.

Earlier, the California Lottery said, “Powerball has strict security requirements that must be met by all 48 lotteries before a drawing can occur,” adding that a participating lottery needs extra time to meet those requirements before the drawing can be conducted.

“When the required security protocols are complete, the drawing will be performed under the supervision of lottery security officials and independent auditors. Winning numbers will be posted as soon as they are available,” the California Lottery said.

In a following update, the California Lottery said the delay was still in effect as of early Tuesday morning due to an issue in another state.

“It is not due to any delays at the California Lottery. There is currently no estimated time for the drawing,” said the California Lottery, adding winning numbers will be posted on its Twitter account and website when they are available.

The delay for the highly anticipated drawing comes as the Powerball lottery jackpot has swelled to $1.9 billion Monday, according to the California Lottery, making it the largest lotto prize ever offered – just as its organizers intended when they changed the odds in 2015.

There were no winning tickets sold for Saturday’s drawing of an estimated $1.6 billion, already the highest lotto prize offered. The last Powerball jackpot was won on August 3 in Pennsylvania.

That jackpot value is the amount a winner would get if they took 30 graduated annual installments, though a winner can also choose the cash option to get a single lump sum of lesser value. For the $1.9 billion jackpot, the winner can choose between getting 30 equal payments of about $63 million per year or receiving a lump sum cash value of about $929 million.

The largest Powerball jackpot ever won was in January 2016, when three winners split a prize advertised at $1.586 billion. Each took their share of the cash value, which added up to $983.5 million.

Yes, that means the cash value of the current “record” $1.9 billion jackpot is less than the cash value of the $1.586 billion jackpot six years ago. You can thank the Federal Reserve’s recent interest rate hikes for that discrepancy.

Powerball draws take place every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 10:59 p.m. ET.

Powerball is played by charging $2 per ticket and having players choose five white balls between the numbers 1 to 69 and a red Powerball from the numbers 1 to 26. If a player gets all six numbers correct, they win the massive jackpot.

The odds of winning the jackpot by matching all 5 numbers and the Powerball number are one in 292.2 million.

Prior to 2015, though, the white balls were numbered 1 to 59 and the Powerball was numbered 1 to 35. The change means that now gamblers have better odds of winning small prizes but worse odds of winning the jackpot, making it more likely that the big number will grow to record sizes.

“This Powerball game is delivering exactly what our players want,” Powerball Product Group Chairperson Drew Svitko said in a statement prior to Saturday’s drawing. “We are witnessing history in the making with this $1.6 billion jackpot! What’s also exciting is that this run has already created millions of winners, including nearly 100 players who have won prizes worth $1 million or more.”