$320 million Powerball jackpot is 4th largest ever

8:51 PM, Aug 15, 2012   |    comments
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(NBC) -- The estimated jackpot for Wednesday night's Powerball drawing has grown to $320 million, and players across the country hope to get lucky.

Sales were surging beyond expectations for the fourth-largest Powerball prize, which comes with a cash option of $213.3 million, said lottery operator Multi-State Lottery Association, comprised of lotteries in 32 states and the District of Columbia.

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If no one matches all numbers in the Wednesday drawing, Saturday night's estimated jackpot will likely become the largest Powerball jackpot in U.S. history.

The jackpot has rolled 14 times since June 27. The last win was on June 23, when a Connecticut couple took home a $60 million prize.

"I can't even really think of what I wouldn't do," 7-Eleven customer Shelley Taylor told NBC station WBAL of Baltimore, about dreams of winning the jackpot.

"Absolutely nothing but travel; I would travel; quit my job and travel," customer Maresa Gold said.

The largest Powerball jackpot of $365 million was won in 2006 by eight workers from a meat-packing plant in Nebraska.

Tickets, which start at $2, are on sale until about one hour (times vary by state) before the 10:59 p.m. ET drawing. Five white numbered balls are drawn from a drum with 59 balls and one red Powerball from a drum with 35 numbered red balls.

The top prize is won by matching all five white balls in any order and the red Powerball.

(NBC News)

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