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.
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Have you bought a Powerball ticket yet? You could be the biggest winner of the jackpot that is now 500 million dollars. An assistant math professor at UW-Eau Claire who says the odds of winning are one in 175 million.
He even says your chances of being struck by lightning are better, but that hasn't stopped people from wanting to buy the winning ticket.
It’s a craze that's sweeping the nation. Now the Powerball has moved from 425 million to 500 million.
“People are more excited. They’re buying more tickets getting into groups and buying tickets,” said Billie White, Gordy’s Gasstation.
Billie White says she wants the winning ticket bought at her gas station.
“Somebody is going to buy the winning ticket here and all I want when someone buys the winning ticket is put a big sign outside this building saying we sold a Powerball winner here.
Meanwhile UW-Eau Claire's Herschel Day says the odds are against you.
“You have a better chance of being involved in a fatal crash on the way to purchase a ticket or on your way home than you do of winning the grand prize,” said Herschel Day, UWEC assistant math professor.
But that hasn't stopped people like Mark Holley from picking his own numbers or even other employees at WEAU.
A lot of times when there's a big jackpot businesses like WEAU will pool their money together that way they can buy more Powerball tickets and have better odds at the jackpot."
"Were likely to see a winner because of sure volume of folks that are participating in the lottery this time around,” said Day.
After taxes the amount won comes to about 327 million. But the biggest question is, what would you do with the money?
"I probably buy a car and buy my parents a house and buy a pony all the things I never got when I was little,” said Amy Hahn, UWEC student.
My husband and I have talked about how Were kind of afraid if we won that much money because it would be kind of hard to know who your friends are,” said Carrie Swartz who lives in Eau Claire.
Billie says some people have even said they'd buy an island.
“A lot of them will say they'll give some to charity which is nice with it being this time of year,” said White.
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