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Powerball numbers, by the numbers

Posted at 11:44 AM, Jan 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-06 23:21:23-05

UPDATE: The winning Powerball numbers for 1/6/2016 are 2, 11, 47, 62, 63, and Powerball #17
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The estimated jackpot for Wednesday night's Powerball drawing has soared to $500 million thanks to strong sales, according to the Florida Lottery.

No one has won Powerball's biggest prize since Nov. 4.  

The last time Powerball had grown this large was in February 2015, when three winners split a $564.1 million prize.

Powerball is played in 44 states as well as the District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

“We would love for Wednesday’s drawing to result in Florida’s 205th POWERBALL millionaire,” Florida Lottery Secretary Tom Delacenserie said in a statement.  

When picking lotto numbers, some players have a system: Birthdays, alphanumeric words, or the uniform numbers of their favorite players. Others go with their gut or “lucky” numbers.

But would it change your mind if you knew which numbers were most commonly drawn as Powerball winners?

While you’ll still have the same one in 292 million chance to win, no matter what numbers you choose, looking at the raw data from every winning Powerball number uncovers some interesting trends.

  • According to Powerball’s website, there have been 1,897 drawings since the game began in 1997 with only 213 winners. That means a jackpot is only awarded 11 percent of the time.
  • The most commonly drawn numbers in Powerball history? 32 and 41. Both have appeared 193 times, or just over 10 percent of the time. At the current odds, every number has about a 7 percent chance of appearing in any given drawing.
  • As the game has evolved, more numbers have been added to the “Pick 5” pool to decrease the odds. In October, the pool increased to 69. In the 26 drawings since that time, “68” has been drawn four times, or 15 percent of the time.
  • The most winningest “Pick 5” numbers are 14 and 17. Both have been a part of 27 (or roughly 13 percent) of winning tickets.
  • Since the “Pick 5” pool increased to 59 in 2009, “59” has been drawn 65 times, or nearly 9 percent of the time.
  • In addition to correctly picking all five “regular” numbers, players must also guess a sixth “power ball’ out of a pool of 26 numbers in order to win the jackpot. The most commonly drawn powerball number is 20, which has appeared 63 times (3 percent).
  • The last two jackpot winners both selected 17 as their “power ball.”

Of course, you can still win big without hitting the jackpot. Check out the infographic below for more information.

Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.