SAN FRANCISCO (CBS) – It’s a few hundred million short of the record jackpot, but Wednesday’s Powerball payoff of an estimated $425 million deserves some serious consideration.

This jackpot ranks No. 4 on the all-time U.S. list.

If you are thinking there have been a lot of big jackpots recently, you are right. The top four jackpots have all been drawn roughly in the past year. That’s largely due to California’s recent addition to the game back in April, adding millions of potential players to the pool.

During Saturday’s drawing, a Milpitas ticket matched six numbers – but not the powerball – earning the buyer more than $1.1 million.

The state is the only guaranteed winner, it is expected to net $90-120 million a year from the sale of tickets. So how do you pick a winner? Were you planning on a quick pick? That’s for rookies.

According to USA Mega, the most common “first five” numbers drawn in the past 100 drawings are: 23, 26, 36, 08, 22. Powerball: 16 and 29 (tie).

If you want to play the least common numbers, they are: 51, 47, 37, 15 and (tied) 24, 12, 04. Powerball: The number 30 has not been picked in the past 100 drawings.

But keep in mind, playing these numbers do not change your odds. Whether you choose your own numbers or play a quick pick, the odds are still 1 in 175,223,510 that you’ll collect on the jackpot.

The odds of sharing the prize are more likely as more people play the game.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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