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Powerball jackpot reaches a record $700 million

Powerball jackpot reaches a record $700 million

The Powerball lottery has jumped to $700 million.
Powerball jackpot reaches a record $700 million
Powerball numbers are chosen in the drawing at the Florida Lottery on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, in Tallahassee, Fla. The numbers drawn in the $579.9-million game were: 5, 16, 22, 23, 29 and Powerball of 6.

The Powerball lottery has jumped to $700 million.

By midday today, lottery officials said the new high came as sales of tickets continue. The jackpot was $675 million after no one won it in a drawing Wednesday night.

The new jackpot translates into a $428.4 million cash value for a potential winner or winners.

Because no one won Wednesday night's drawing, it has rolled over and grown bigger. And that comes after no one won last weekend's drawing.

Wednesday's numbers were 2, 11, 47, 62 and 63, and the Powerball was 17.

"It certainly doesn't happen that often," said Carole Everett, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Lottery division on Thursday. She said there is no limit on how many times the jackpot can roll over.

It just keeps going until "someone hits" it, she said.

The next drawing is Saturday at 11 p.m.

Sales of lottery tickets have been jet fueled over the past week as dreamers take a shot at the jackpot.

"As it gets bigger and bigger, more people are playing," Everett said. Powerball is played in 44 states, as well at the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

One of the most recent large Powerball jackpots was for $590.5 million. It was won in 2013 by Gloria Mackenzie, an 84-year-old Florida woman. She took a lump-sum cash payment of $370 million before taxes. Another large jackpot was in a Mega Millions drawing in 2012. That was a $656 million win.

And what's the magic to winning?

"It's just the luck of the draw," Everett said.

Realistically, the chances of winning are 1 in 292.2 million, according to lottery officials.

In fact, a person is more likely to get struck by lightning or bitten by a shark than win the lottery. On average, the chances of being struck by lightning are 1 in 3,000 during an average lifetime. And the chances of being bitten by a shark are less than 1 in 264.1 million.

Even after a winner is picked, the rest of the world doesn't always have to know the person's identity. Six states - Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and South Carolina - allow lottery winners to remain anonymous.

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