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Powerball: What Are The Odds?

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jeff Ray
Jeff joined CBS 11 and TXA 21 in December 2010. He came to North T...
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Powerball fever has hit North Texas. The estimated jackpot for Wednesday’s drawing has jumped from $425 million to $500 million — that’s half a billion dollars — making it the second richest lottery jackpot in United States history. No one has won Powerball since October 6, more than seven weeks ago.

And the Powerball jackpot is still growing.

Only the Mega Millions jackpot last March ($656 million) has been larger than the current Powerball winnings.

There are 42 states that sell Powerball tickets, including Washington D.C. and the Virgin Islands. The large pool of players and historical payout will likely result in ticket sales spiking as Wednesday night’s drawing comes closer. The record jackpot has brought in many new players. But the odds of actually winning are astounding. Let’s put it into perspective.

Odds of being struck by lightning in your lifetime: 1 in 5,000

Odds of becoming President of the United States: 1 in 10,000,000

Odds of becoming an astronaut: 1 in 20,000,000

Odds of winning the Powerball jackpot: 1 in 175,000,000

Total sales from the lottery drawing will top $1 billion, half of which will go toward the prize money. The other half is given to the states that run the game. And, of course, the federal government collects 25 percent of the prize money from the winner.

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