Strong sales raise Powerball jackpot to $500 million

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Officials say the Powerball jackpot has risen to an estimated $500 million, which would make it the fifth largest lottery prize in U.S. history.

The lottery raised its jackpot estimate hours before Wednesday night's drawing and has raised it twice since Saturday's drawing by a total of about $105 million.

No one has won the Powerball jackpot for more than two months, so the prize has been growing gradually from its $40 million starting point.

It's been nearly a year since a Powerball prize topped $400 million

Powerball is sold in 44 states as well as Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

The chance of winning a Powerball jackpot is about 1 in 175 million.

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$485 million Powerball jackpot is 5th largest in US history

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- The Powerball jackpot has climbed to $485 million, making Wednesday night's drawing the fifth largest prize in U.S. history.

It's been more than two months since someone won the Powerball jackpot, so the prize has been gradually growing from its $40 million starting point.
 
The last time Powerball grew nearly so large was February 2014.
 
Because of strong sales, lottery officials Tuesday raised the estimated jackpot from $450 million to $485 million.
 
Lottery officials are quick to point out that the game is for fun and a chance to dream. They note the chance of winning a Powerball jackpot is about 1 in 175 million.
 
Powerball revenue has been down slightly during a drought of jackpots, but officials say this big prize has caused sales to surge.