Powerball jackpot jumps to $400 million after no winner emerges

A powerball Lottery ticket is shown in this photo illustration after being purchased at a gas station in San Diego, California, February 10, 2015.REUTERS/Mike Blake

(Reuters) - Powerball's jackpot has surged to an estimated $400 million after the first drawing of the new year resulted in no winning ticket holders, the operator of the multistate game said on Sunday.

Powerball, played in 44 states, two U.S. territories and Washington, D.C., will hold its next drawing on Wednesday, giving players another crack at the grand prize.

The current jackpot is worth $244.8 million if a winner opts for an immediate cash payout instead of annual payments over 30 years, the Multi-State Lottery Association said on its website.

While no ticket holder had all six numbers in Saturday evening's drawing (5,6,15,29,42 and the Powerball number 10), more than 2 million ticket holders won smaller prizes totaling nearly $21 million, the non-profit association said. Five players matched five of the six numbers.

The last Powerball jackpot winner was in November when a ticket holder from Tennessee claimed a $144.1 million prize.

But that sum paled compared with the biggest Powerball jackpots of 2015 - $564.1 million in February and $310.5 million in September.

The biggest U.S. lottery jackpot was $656 million, claimed in a Mega Millions lottery drawing in March 2012.

(Reporting by Frank McGurty; ediing by Susan Thomas)