It has been over two months since someone last picked all six numbers correctly in Powerball — and because no one won on Wednesday, the pool has bloated to a mind-blowing amount of money. "I don't even know how to describe it. This has never happened before," California State Lottery spokesman Alex Traverso told The Los Angeles Times Thursday.
Cut to the chase — how much will I win?
The current estimated Powerball jackpot is $800 million. It could increase to $900 million by Saturday's drawing.
Okay, I'm in. How much does it cost to play?
What are the odds I'll win?
Any given ticket has a 1 in 292.2 million chance of winning.
Sounds all right!
Actually, no. "The probability [of winning] is so small, dare say impossible. It's like trying to count electrons or drops of water in the ocean or grains of sand in the world. We just can't imagine these types of things," Jeffrey Miecznikowski, an associate professor of biostatistics the University of Buffalo, told The Associated Press. Try your luck out for yourself: The odds of winning are the same as flipping a quarter and getting heads 28 times in a row.
So how do I pick the winning ticket?
Your odds are actually better if you let a computer pick, according to Scott A. Norris, an assistant professor of mathematics at Southern Methodist University. Because people tend to use birth dates and favorite numbers, they generally pick numbers below 31 — and there are 69 numbered balls in play. The Multi-State Lottery Association says that about 75 percent of tickets are computer picks and about 75 percent of winners are computer picks.
Does it help to buy more tickets?
The short answer is yes, but keep in mind that the odds are still really, really, really low even if you buy a bunch of tickets.
Okay smart guy, what if I buy all of the possible number combinations?
Fine — but at $2 a ticket, that would cost you $584 million and, after taxes, that would mean you end up actually losing money.
So what happens if no one wins?
The next prize is expected to surpass $1 billion.
I won! Now what?
Decide how you get paid. The millions can either be doled out over 30 years, or in an immediate $428.4 million in cash. Keep this in mind: Federal and state taxes eat up about half the earnings of the cash prize option. Jeva Lange
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) may have ended his presidential run months ago, but he's still paying off the costs of the campaign — thanks, in part, to his music choice for one of his rallies. CNN reported Monday that the failed presidential candidate was slapped with a $25,000 payment by the band Survivor for playing its "Eye of the Tiger" without permission at a rally Huckabee held last year for Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses.
Huckabee initially tried to defend his use of the song by saying the event was religious in nature, CNN reports:
In court, Huckabee argued that the anti-gay rights rally was a "religious assembly ... signifying joy and praise at the release of Mrs. Davis" from jail. A religious event would classify the act of playing the song as "noncommercial" and allow him to cite "fair use" — letting him play part of the song without paying for it. [CNN]
However, Huckabee ended up agreeing to a confidential settlement out of court with the company Rude Music, which is owned by one of the song's cowriters.
The former governor's federal election records filed June 20 indicate that he paid half of the $25,000 in May, listed as an "itemized disbursement." The remaining half was listed as "debts and obligations."
Huckabee has yet to say whether the "thrill of the fight" was worth that chunk of change. Becca Stanek
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) ruthlessly attacked Donald Trump in her first joint appearance with Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail Monday in Ohio. "Great for who?" Warren asked of the presumptive GOP nominee's slogan, "Make America Great Again," before joking that she could attack Trump "all day."
Warren was as flattering to Clinton as she was damaging to Trump. "She's been on the receiving end of one right-wing attack after another for 25 years," Warren said of the presumptive Democratic nominee. "But she has never backed down. She doesn't whine. She doesn't run to Twitter to call her opponents fat pigs or dummies. No, she just remembers who really needs someone on their side. And she gets up and keeps right on fighting for the people who need her most."
Clinton was equally pleased with Warren, praising her for "how she gets under Donald Trump's thin skin."
British Prime Minister David Cameron announced Monday that it would be up to the country's next prime minister to negotiate Britain's post-Brexit relationship with the European Union. In the first meeting of Parliament since Britain voted Thursday to exit the EU and Cameron announced his resignation, Cameron said the British government would first assess plans for its future relationship with the EU before beginning the exit process.
He advised that Britain "not turn our back on Europe or the rest of the world," and that the country "hold fast to a vision that wants to be respected abroad, tolerant at home, engaged in the world, and working with our international partners to advance security and prosperity of the nation for generations to come."
Despite his opposition to the referendum, Cameron said the vote must be upheld and implemented "in the best way possible." Becca Stanek
In a win for pro-choice advocates, the Supreme Court on Monday struck down two parts of a Texas law restricting abortion clinics. The provisions in question were a requirement that abortion facilities meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers, and a second mandate that doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. The justices ruled 5-3 that the Texas law violates the Constitution by placing an "undue burden" on women's right to abortion.
Women's groups said that the restrictions would have caused "more than three-quarters of the state's clinics to shut down," NBC News reports. The number of clinics in the state has already dropped from 42 to 19 since the law was passed in 2013, and would have likely dropped to just 10 if law had been upheld.
In a heated segment on CNN on Sunday, former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) slammed both President Obama and Hillary Clinton for constantly "calling names." "With President Obama and Hillary Clinton, every time you disagree with them, it doesn't matter which subject it is, you're a bigot or you're a racist," Brewer said, responding to Obama's remarks Friday that we "don't have time for charlatans," "bigotry," and "flim-flam."
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) was quick to point out that, actually, Obama wasn't saying that about all Republicans. "But he does say rightly that Donald Trump is a bigot, Donald Trump is a racist, Donald Trump is, in fact, making fascist appeals," the one-time Democratic presidential candidate said. "That's why many self-respecting Republicans are not supporting Donald Trump."
Brewer responded by saying she wasn't all that concerned when Trump said things she "wasn't comfortable with" because Trump, unlike Obama, is "new to the political arena." "But dang it," Brewer said, "I get fed up that we hear over and over and over and over again from the president of the United States that every time somebody wants to support the Constitution and the rule of law that we are out there because we are racist and bigots."
Watch the debate play out, below. Becca Stanek
For Corey Lewandowski, it's always just been a simple matter of respecting the rules.
The newly minted CNN contributor appeared Monday morning on the network's New Day with Alisyn Camerota, who asked Lewandowski about his fraught relationship with the press and the backlash that followed the announcement of his hiring at CNN.
"Well look, there are rules to follow," Lewandowski said in defense of his sometimes aggressive attitude toward the media. "We asked people to respect those rules." Lewandowski went on to defend his tactic of blacklisting certain reporters and news outlets from Trump events, but said he has "a great relationship with the press" and "a lot of friends at all the networks." Watch the whole segment below. Kimberly Alters
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) June 27, 2016
With a candidate like Donald Trump, a little disorganization is no big problem — at least that's what Trump's new campaign chair, Paul Manafort, said Sunday on Meet the Press. "The good thing is, we have a candidate who doesn't need to figure out what's going on in order to say what he wants to do," Manafort said, admitting that Team Trump is still "getting organized."
Though it may seem like Trump lags far behind rival Hillary Clinton in terms of fundraising and operation size, Manafort insisted that was not the case. "They're muscle-bound. We're not," Manafort said, pointing out that the Trump campaign actually has "thousands of people in the battleground states, political organizers who are now in place, we have state organizations that are in place, we have our campaign plans in place, we have our budgets in place."
Manafort's TV appearance followed a rough week for the Trump campaign, during which former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was fired and a Federal Election Commissions report revealed that Trump had just $1.29 million on hand to Clinton's $42.5 million.
Watch Manafort's full defense of the Trump campaign, below. Becca Stanek