Powerball jackpot jumps to record $500 million

By Daniel S Levine,

The Powerball lottery jackpot just keeps growing since the most recent drawing didn’t produce a single winner. It’s now up to a stunning $500 million, leading to millions of Americans rushing to get their tickets.

This is all part of lottery officials’ plans. According to CBS News, ticket prices reached $2 in January and the move is paying off. Revenue from Powerball tickets reached $3.96 billion in the 2012 fiscal year and it is expected to jump to $5 billion for 2013.

Mary Neubauer, a spokeswoman for the Iowa lottery, told ABC News that the rationale for the price jump was that it would “mean bigger and faster-growing jackpots.” That’s exactly what has happened. The total “has been taking huge jumps -- another $100 million since Saturday,” she said.

The latest drawing was Saturday and there were no winners. There hasn’t been a winner since Oct. 6. The winnings were originally posted as $425 million, which was already a record. With revenue on the rise, the jackpot was adjusted to $500 million.

Powerball is played in 42 states, plus Washington, DC and the US Virgin Islands. The odds are just one in 175 million, notes USA Today.

While this is a record for Powerball, it falls short of the $656 million Mega Millions payout from April.

The next Powerball drawing is set for Wednesday.



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