As residents of Louisiana stand poised on the cusp of a brand new year, it's time to reflect on the fact that there is a lot of "last year" lottery money that still doesn't have a home. Sure there have been some big wins in Louisiana in recent weeks but the big jackpots of the multi-state lottery games have continued to grow every week.

Over the weekend, if you have a mind to do so, you'll have your chance to claim your share of almost three-quarters of a billion dollars in lottery prizes. Naturally, the big money is split between the two major multi-state games, namely Powerball and Mega Millions.

$213 Million Powerball Jackpot Has Mystery Winner
William Thomas Cain/Getty Images
loading...

Louisiana's most recent "big money" win came on December 29th in the Powerball game. A ticket sold at Algiers Discount Food Store in the New Orleans area for that drawing is worth $50,000. The numbers for that drawing according to the Powerball website were:

02   06   09   33   39  Powerball 11 and Power Play was x2.

While $50,000 is what a lot of us would consider being a "nice chunk of change" it's paltry compared to the estimated jackpot for the Powerball game on Saturday night. Game officials estimate that the jackpot will be half a billion dollars, that's right $500,000 when the ping pong balls fall on Saturday at 9:59.

Two Multi-State Lotteries Each Offer Over $400 Jackpots
Justin Sullivan, Getty Images
loading...

If you're wondering Powerball has not had a jackpot winner since October 4th when a jackpot of $699,800 was won. Based on my lottery calculations the Powerball jackpot will be won either this weekend or next weekend.

No, I don't have a system for predicting the numbers but the statistics show that the game usually doesn't go more than three months without a winner. Since we are entering the fourth month since there was a big money jackpot, I think I would play a few Powerball numbers over the next few days. That's just my opinion.

The Mega Millions game last got a jackpot winner on October 22 of 2021. That jackpot paid $108 million dollars. The current Mega Millions jackpot for tonight's December 31 drawing is estimated to be $221 million. The last big win in Louisiana in the Mega Millions game came on December 14th when a ticket sold in Boutte was found to be worth $30,000.

Mega Millions Jackpot Becomes Largest Prize In U.S. History at $1.6 Billion
Drew Angerer, Getty Images
loading...

Remember with Powerball and Mega Millions you should only play with money you can afford to lose. Most tickets are not winners and most of those that do when do not fall under the "big wins" category, so play responsibly.

By rule, ticket sales for both Powerball and Mega Millions must end at least one hour before the actual drawing. Since the drawings are at 9:59 Louisiana time you can expect ticket sales to end sometime before  9 pm on drawing days. Consult your local lottery retailer for specific cut off times at their location.

Meanwhile, as you're waiting to become rich, take a minute and see if these things annoy you as much as they annoy the rest of us.

10 Little Things that Grind Our Gears in a Great Big Way