Wednesday, November 28 2012 11:18 AM EST2012-11-28 16:18:39 GMT
Past winners of mega-lottery drawings and financial planners have some more sound advice: Stick to a budget, invest wisely, learn to say no and be prepared to lose friends.more>>
Past winners of mega-lottery drawings and financial planners have some more sound advice: Stick to a budget, invest wisely, learn to say no and be prepared to lose friends while riding an emotional roller-coaster of joy, anxiety, guilt and distrust.more>>
DES MOINES, Iowa - The record Powerball jackpot just keeps rising. It now stands at $550 million after officials said 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 said they now believe there is a 75 percent chance that the winning combination of numbers will be drawn Wednesday night.
Record jackpots encourage players who usually sit on the sidelines to play and group purchases from work pools increase. If you decide to take part in a work pool, here are some tips to protect yourself and your co-workers:
-Write everything down.
-Create a document with names of those who contributed and how much.
-Have everyone write down their name or signature.
-Clarify how much everyone will get (there's always one co-worker who contributes more, that person should also get more).
-Give everyone a photocopy of all the tickets.
Legal experts say a simple document with all of the information will hold up in court. The best piece of advice is to do this with people you trust and use common sense.
Ticket sales in all 42 states where Powerball is played will stop about an hour before the drawing.
The jackpot is the largest ever for the Powerball game and the second largest lottery jackpot of all time, eclipsed only by the $656 million Mega Millions record set in March.
The record jackpot was all part of a plan lottery officials put in place early this year to build jackpots faster, drive sales and generate more money for states that play the game.
Their plan appears to be working.
Powerball tickets doubled in price in January to $2. Sales revenue has increased and is expected to reach $5 billion this year, exceeding last year's record sales of just under $4 billion.
There has been no winner of Powerball's biggest prize since October 6. The odds of matching all six winning Powerball numbers are just 1 in 175 million.
(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)