Powerball jackpot at $348M, approaching top 10 US payouts

Wednesday's Powerball Jackpot Set At Least $348 Million

(Reuters) -- The multi-state Powerball jackpot has grown to $348 million, making it the 15th highest U.S. lottery prize in history with a chance to reach the top 10 if no one wins the drawing on Wednesday night, officials said.

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The Powerball jackpot has grown past $300 million for the first time since January when three tickets for the game split $1.6 billion, a record for any U.S. lottery.

Seventeen consecutive drawings have produced no winner, lottery officials said.

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The odds of winning at Powerball are one in 292 million, which according to statistics experts is equivalent to flipping a coin 28 times and getting heads every time.

If no one wins the drawing on Wednesday night, the Powerball could reach about $400 million, which would place it in the top 10 of U.S. lottery prizes ever, California lottery spokesman Alex Traverso said. The next drawing would be on Saturday.

Powerball is played in 44 states, including California, which is the nation's most populous state, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Even as lottery officials gear up for this latest drawing, they are waiting for one ticket holder to come forward from the record $1.6 billion Powerball drawing in January.

Lottery officials still have no idea who bought the ticket, sold in Chino Hills east of Los Angeles, Traverso said. Under rules of the game, the holder has a year from the time of the drawing to claim a prize.

The two other winning tickets were sold in Tennessee and Florida, and those winners have come forward.

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