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5 things to know about the Powerball jackpot

Top 5 Things To Know About The Powerball Jackpot

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Wednesday's Powerball drawing carries an estimated $400 million jackpot. If no one matches all the numbers, the prize potential will grow before the next drawing on Saturday. Here are five things you should know about Powerball payouts and your odds of winning.

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GROWING INTO RECORD TERRITORY: The estimated $400 million jackpot is the sixth-largest in U.S. lottery history. Impressive, but it may not hold that record in a few years ... or even a few months. More than half of the 10 largest lottery jackpots have been reached since 2012. That's because major game changes to Powerball and Mega Millions have created larger jackpots in shorter periods of time. So if it seems like we were all just talking about the large, growing jackpot, it's because we were.

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ROLLING, ROLLING, ROLLING: Each drawing without a winner rolls the jackpot over and makes it more lucrative. The current jackpot began its ascent at the end of 2013. That means it's rolled over more than a dozen times without a top prize winner. If no one strikes it big on Wednesday, the jackpot only gets bigger.

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LET'S SAY YOU WIN: Hold off on that beachfront mansion. Financial experts agree that you should forego large vanity purchases and instead set up annuities and long-term trusts for descendants.

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YOU COULD BE A WINNER EVEN IF YOU DON'T WIN THE JACKPOT: You don't have the main Powerball number on your ticket? Don't fret and keep your eyes on those other five numbers. Match those and you could win a $1 million secondary prize or a $2 million secondary "Power Play" prize if you paid an extra dollar when you bought the ticket. More than 1,000 ticketholders have won these secondary prizes since 2012. Not a bad deal.

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BUT REALLY, YOU'RE NOT GOING TO WIN: Odds of winning it all are about 1-in-175 million. Officials over the years have noticed the trend that the larger the jackpot, the more interest in the top prize and a surge in players. But remember your odds of winning a jackpot of $40 million is the same as if it were the current estimated $400 million. That's because every time you play, you're still looking to match all five white balls and the red Powerball. The odds of winning don't change as the jackpot escalates, and they change very little even if you buy 10 tickets instead of one.

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justinwwooten February 20 2014 at 9:11 AM

please let me dream the numbers

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LADYPEG7WLK February 20 2014 at 6:40 AM

I think its set up to what numbers officials want with the machine. Have that much money and one win mostly. Some people playing there last hoping. Dang shame!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Rhonda February 20 2014 at 1:46 AM

I just saved $2.00 by not buying a POWERBALL TICKET/ YEAH ME !!!!/ 2 more Buck'z, I can purchase a gallon of MILK !!!!!

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bbunny0916 February 20 2014 at 12:57 AM

Someone wins and I have the same odds as the winner so I can win. Almost definitely wont but I can dream. If I do win I wont be the only winner I will be helping a lot of people out.

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loser1leo February 20 2014 at 12:53 AM

You have chance as much as no chance,

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newsynurse February 20 2014 at 12:29 AM

Last year I was one of only 5 people in my state to be diagnosed with a certain type of cancer. I don't smoke or drink, and live a healthy lifestyle. I "won" that "prize," and I didn't even buy a ticket. What are the odds? Purchasing a lottery ticket is worth it simply for the fun of the anticipation. A good dream is worth two bucks!

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Rich February 20 2014 at 12:36 AM

I agree, you can't win if you don't play. That being said, too many people spend way too much on lottery tickets, and they are usually the ones who can afford it the least. People go crazy when the jackpot gets this big.

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bgfkmk February 20 2014 at 12:19 AM

I wouldn't mind winning, then I could keep my power chair and get rid of my walker. I hate having a spend down for Medicaid. so good luck everyone, hope I have the winning ticket....

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unitcoaltrains February 20 2014 at 12:12 AM

Instead of increasing the amouint of numbers to make for larger payouts, why not reduce the quantity to increase the number of winners. Would sure be better for the US if more peolpe won smaller amounts that would help MORE PEOPLE!!!! Most of the American people do NOT really have a concept of what $400,000,000.00 is. I don't. Me, I would be happy just to pay off my bills and have a realistic retirement fund, which is what the banks took away from many of us in 2011!

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car nut February 19 2014 at 11:46 PM

Can't win if you don't buy a ticket. 1:175 million? With over 300 million people in the US, that means your only competing against 2/3 the population. The other 1/3 has no dreams I guess. It may be a dream, but the jackpot has always been won by someone! Might not have been right away, but still was won. Though I'm starting to think its rigged because no one has ever won the jackpot in the state where I live. Also when I get quick picks, how is it that the numbers are very close to each other every time. You'd think the quick pick would spread out your numbers more.

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usafgolfrvs February 19 2014 at 11:15 PM

ITS THE LUCK OF THE DRAW, I HOPE ITS ON THE UP AND UP. WINNERS BE READY FOR THE COUNSINS YOU NEVER SEEN OR HEARD OF TILL YOU WIN THE GIANT PRIZE. ITS THE AMERICAN WAY.ROFLMAO

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