Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Powerball jackpot soars to $500M: Here's what you need to know

Do you want to be a half-billionaire? Better run out and get a lotto ticket.

The Powerball jackpot soared to $500 million from $450 million ahead of Wednesday night's drawing. It will be the sixth largest jackpot in North American history.

To win the big prize, a ticketholder must match all five white balls as well as the red Powerball. The winner would have the option to take an immediate $306 million lump sum or to receive annual payments over the next 30 years.

But the odds probably aren’t in your favor: There’s a one-in-292-million chance of winning the Powerball jackpot. That means a ticketholder is more likely to win an Oscar (one in 7 million chance) or become president (one in 10 million shot) than take home the big prize.

Tickets cost $2, and you have until 10 p.m. to grab a ticket. The drawing will be at 10:59 p.m., and you can watch it live on a number of local stations.

Wednesday’s payout will climb again if no one hits the jackpot. The largest lotto payout in history was a $656 million Mega Millions jackpot back in March 2012.



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