Powerball numbers drawn for $645 million jackpot

(NEXSTAR) — Feeling lucky? It's time to check those lottery tickets.

The winning numbers for the Powerball drawing on Monday, March 18, were: 44, 39, 10, 17, and 20. The Powerball was 16, and the PowerPlay was 3X.

The jackpot soared to an estimated $645 million after no one matched all six winning numbers in Saturday night's drawing. It's the 12th-largest jackpot in Powerball history.

Meanwhile, the Mega Millions grand prize is now estimated at a whopping $875 million — the sixth-largest in game history — ahead of Tuesday's drawing.

5 things to know as Powerball, Mega Millions jackpots surge

Just keep in mind that the odds of winning any lottery jackpot are very slim. Mega Millions players have a 1 in 302.6 million chance of taking home the top prize. And it's not much easier to win a Powerball jackpot with the odds near 1 in 292.2 million.

If you are lucky enough to win either of the large jackpots, Robert Pagliarini, the president and chief financial adviser for Pacifica Wealth Advisors, Inc. in Irvine, California, offered some advice.

“Take a deep breath,” Pagliarini told The Associated Press. “You will be faced with numerous tax, legal, and financial decisions so I want you to stay grounded, because when you are calm you can make much better decisions.”

Pagliarini suggested building a team to help with decisions, including an attorney, tax expert and financial adviser experienced in handling windfalls.

“Lastly, even though you have professionals guiding you, do not forget that this is your money and you are in charge — they work for you. Ask questions and make them explain things so you understand them. The goal is to turn your sudden wealth into lasting wealth,” he said.

Can Powerball, Mega Millions jackpot winners stay anonymous? Not in these states

Jackpot winners have two options to receive their prize: an annuitized payout of gradually increasing payments over 29 years or as a lump sum. The payouts can vary depending on the state as well. You may want to think twice about taking the cash option, though.

In case you're curious, here are the largest lottery prizes in the U.S.:

$2.04 billion (Powerball): Nov. 7, 2022; California $1.765 billion (Powerball): Oct. 11, 2023; California $1.602 billion (Mega Millions): Aug. 15, 2023; Florida $1.586 billion (Powerball): Jan. 13, 2016; California, Florida, Tennessee $1.537 billion (Mega Millions): Oct. 23, 2018; South Carolina $1.348 billion (Mega Millions): Jan. 13, 2023; Maine $1.337 billion (Mega Millions): July 29, 2022; Illinois $1.08 billion (Powerball): July 19, 2023; California $1.05 billion (Mega Millions): Jan. 22, 2021; Michigan  $842.4 million (Powerball): Jan. 1, 2024; Michigan

Powerball tickets are $2 each and sold in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In addition to Saturdays, drawings are held every Monday and Wednesday at 10:59 p.m. ET.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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