DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The record Powerball jackpot just keeps rising. It now stands at $550 million after officials say brisk sales keep driving up the payout amount.
The jackpot was boosted to $500 million on Tuesday and raised again Wednesday morning to $550 million.
A winner taking the cash option would get $360.2 million before taxes.
The numbers are an estimate and could be increased again as the drawing nears.
Powerball officials say they now believe there is a 75 percent chance that the winning combination of numbers will be drawn Wednesday night.
BELLEVILLE, IL (KTVI) – A record Powerball jackpot is driving customers to their nearest Gas Mart in Belleville. Clerks at the station at Illinois Route 15 and Frank Scott Parkway saw a slow but steady stream of customers starting at 5 a.m. Wednesday. Some customers got one ticket. Others grabbed a bunch. Gas Mart overnight team leader Carole LaBruyere is used to logging several hundred dollars worth of ticket sales every morning.
“In the mornings I do the paperwork,” she said. “The last few mornings, the ticket sales are through the roof. Usually, I’m about 6 to 7 [hundred dollars]. Now I’m up to $3,000. So, I’m selling a lot of tickets.”
The odds of 1 in 175-million did not worry the Powerball faithful. ”I’m going to make a lot of people happy with this one right here,” John Adams said, holding up his ticket.
”It’s great to see the customers get excited. You hope,” LaBruyere said. “You’re like, ‘I hope they win.’ Just to see one of them win would be great, because I know a lot of people around here could use that money.”
If Adams had to make the tough decision to take the jackpot in annual payments over 30 years or a lump sum of only $327.4-million, he may still make a lot of people happy. The drawing is at 9:59 p.m. CST.
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