There is a way mathematically to guarantee you the victory for the \$550 Million jackpot up for grabs with Powerball, but it takes lots of money!

You know it costs \$2 to play (\$3 if you add the Power Play to increase the payout on the consolation prizes), but what you may not know is that there is over 175 Million possible combinations that can be played through the 59 white balls that draw the first 5 numbers, plus the 39 red Power Balls to add the 6th number.  The math has been figured by Durango Bill's Applied Mathematics.

Now I know none of us have \$350 Million to invest in the Powerball, but let's say we were Donald Trump for a second and we could do this.  Now you are taking the cash payout of about \$360 Million, along with the consolation prize which you would hit 34 times (getting 5 numbers without the Power Ball) for \$34 Million.

We are now at \$404 Million, and creating a profit for \$54 Million less taxes.  The tax would be on just the profit since we would write off the lottery loses (creating a profit in the neighborhood of \$32 Million).  Yes this will take a great deal of time between dealing with the IRS and getting each losing ticket punched out.  Figure if you start just after winning would maybe have you ready for the April 15th tax deadline ..... Maybe!

Now there is one other factor that kills this theory - if you are NOT the lone winner of the Powerball, then you will lose money on this investment.  This is why they call this gambling!

Should nobody wins late Wednesday night, the Powerball jackpot could set a new record with an amount in the \$800-\$850 Million range.  Now apply the math to this, where the cash lump-sum payout would be in the \$540 Million range + the \$34 Million in consolation prizes - the \$350 Million to buy all combos = \$224 Million profit less taxes, and remember you are still gambling that you will be the lone winner (or else you lose money).

Well I hope you enjoyed this math lesson in Lottery 101.  Don't forget to "Give Your Dreams a Chance" and visit your local New Jersey Lottery retailer to be a part of this Powerball madness!