If you won the jackpot, would you take the cash option or the annuity?
PHOENIX (AP) -- The jackpot for Wednesday night's multi-state Powerball lottery game has reached $425 million.
It's the third-largest jackpot in the history of the Powerball, which is played in 43 states including Arizona plus Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The jackpot translates to nearly $245 million for the winner who chooses a cash option.
The two largest Powerball jackpots have occurred within the past year.
On May 18, the jackpot grew to a record $590 million.
The next highest was reached on Nov. 28, 2012, when a man in Fountain Hills, Ariz., split the $587 million jackpot with another winner from Missouri.
Lottery officials say the chances of matching all five numbers and the Powerball number to win the jackpot is about 1 in 175 million. Based on those odds, a person has better odds of becoming president, dating a super model and dying from a snake bite -- combined!
In order to win the whole enchilada, you need to match all six numbers -- five white balls plus the red Powerball. It's not as easy as it might sound. According to the Arizona Lottery website, odds of nailing it are 1 in 175,223,510.
The good news is there are eight other winning combinations with prizes starting at $4 -- doubling an investment in a single ticket -- and going up to $1 million. Your odds of winning something -- anything -- are about 1 in nearly 32.
There are three ways to play the game.
1. You can let the computer choose all of your numbers. (While quite common, a seven-time grand-prize winner from Florida says that's a really bad idea.)
2. You can choose all of your own numbers by whatever method you like.
3. You can choose either just the white balls or just the Powerball and let the computer choose the rest.