Security Behind the Scenes of the Big Powerball Drawing

Each drawing is taken seriously, but this one will be a record-breaker.

ByABC News
January 13, 2016, 9:13 AM

— -- There are 1.5 billion reasons to be on the ball.

With the Powerball jackpot jumping again this morning to $1.5 billion, office pools are not the only places taking tonight's big drawing seriously.

The Florida lottery studio in Tallahassee where the record-breaking drawing will take place has a battery of tests and security checks that it will perform to try to ensure that everything goes smoothly.

The sets of lottery balls are kept in a double-locked vault that is set with an alarm and sealed, Florida lottery spokeswoman Connie Barnes told ABC News.

Three people -- including a Florida Lottery Security Officer who has the code to disarm the alarm, a Multi-State Lottery Association official with a key and someone from an independent accounting firm who has a second key -- are required to access the drawing machines and ball sets, Barnes explained.

In addition to the three people required to access the vault, their actions are monitored on video.

Similar precautions are taken for all Powerball drawings.

Before any ball sets are put into service, they are measured, weighed and density-tested at a state lab. There are also X-ray tests performed to see if there are any internal issues with the balls, Barnes said.

After those tests are completed, a second test is performed and the results are compared to statistical analysis, and only once those results are in will the balls be put into service.

Once approved, the ball sets typically last for 2-4 years, with an additional round of tests run every year, before being taken out of circulation.

The ball sets and machines that will be used in any given Powerball drawing are randomly selected before the big draw -- a primary and backup set for each color -- and pre-tests are completed to make sure that the machine are "operating randomly," Barnes said.

The next draw will happen tonight at 10:59 p.m. ET.