Powerball jackpot surges to $500M in hours before drawing

(AP Photo/Steve Helber)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Powerball jackpot has climbed to an estimated $500 million as more people across the country buy a chance at the biggest prize in nearly a year.

Officials with the Multi-State Lottery Association raised the jackpot estimate from $450 million due to strong sales before Wednesday night’s drawing.

The jackpot ranks as the sixth largest offered in North America and the biggest since a $564.1 million Powerball prize shared by players from North Carolina, Texas and Puerto Rico last February.

A winner of Wednesday’s jackpot could claim the pre-tax $500 million prize through an annuity over 29 years or in a single pre-tax payout of $306 million.

Powerball is played in 44 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

 

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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