Powerball Jackpot Hits $500 Million, Third-Largest In Game’s History

The Powerball jackpot has reached an astounding $500 million as of Wednesday, making it the third-largest jackpot in the history of the game and the fifth-largest jackpot in the history of the United States.

It’s been almost a year since the game’s jackpot topped $400 million.

The lottery raised its estimate of the jackpot hours before the drawing on Wednesday night, and then raised it a couple of more times since Saturday’s drawing, by what the Boston Herald reported a total of roughly $105 million.

For those playing, the chance of winning a Powerball jackpot is roughly one in 175 million.

Powerball sells in 44 states including Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to the report on the Boston Herald, however, the LA Times reported that the tickets are sold for $2 apiece in 43 states.

It’s been more than a couple of months since anyone has won the game’s jackpot, which has allowed the $40 million pot to grow to what lottery officials estimated at a staggering $500 million.

In order to claim a jackpot, the ticket must match five “regular” numbers in addition to the sixth “powerball” number. Drawings occur at 7:59 p.m Pacific time on Wednesday and Saturday and ticket sales end roughly an hour prior to each drawing.

The LA Times reported that only six states allow winners to remain anonymous while others offer exceptions for special circumstances such as protecting peace officers. In California, one of the states where winners do not have a choice in the matter, lottery officials indicated that some winners make requests not to publicize their names, but those requests are denied and their names are published anyways. The report notes that winners do, however, get a handbook intended to describe how their lives are about to change. California’s lottery website advises winners on what to expect.

“Most of the time, it is advisable to get it over with the press so that you don’t have one or more reporters following you around to get that ‘exclusive’ interview.”

Lottery officials in California indicated that the game’s jackpot hasn’t been this big since February 19, 2014, when Mr. Buxton purchased a $425.3-million ticket in a gas station in Milpitas, California.

The jackpot hit $485 million before Wednesday’s drawing, Inquisitr reported previously.

The odds of dying from a flesh-devouring bacteria are one in 1 million, whereas the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are one in 176 million. The odds of getting killed by a shark or a terrorist, dating a supermodel, and dying from a flesh-eating bacteria are all better than the odds of winning the jackpot.

Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada and Utah are the only states in the U.S. which do not participate in Powerball, as none of the states have any state-run lottery whatsoever, the BBC reports.

Did you buy your Powerball ticket?