The Powerball lottery has jumped to $700 million.

By mid day Thursday, lottery officials said the new high came as sales of tickets continue. The jackpot was $675 million after no one won it in a Wednesday night drawing.

The new jackpot translates into a $428.4 million cash value for a potential winner or winners.

Because no one won Wednesday night’s drawing, so it has rolled over and grown bigger. And that comes after no one won last weekend’s drawing.

Wednesday’s numbers were 2, 11, 47, 62 and 63, and the Powerball was 17.

“It certainly doesn’t happen that often,” said Carole Everett, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Lottery division on Thursday. She said there is no limit on how many times the jackpot can roll over.

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It just keeps going until “someone hits” it, she said.

The next drawing is Saturday at 11 p.m.

Sales of lottery tickets have been jet fueled over the past week as dreamers take a shot at the jackpot.

“As it gets bigger and bigger, more people are playing,” Everett said. Powerball is played in 44 states, as well at the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

One of the most recent large Powerball jackpots was for $590.5 million. It was won in 2013 by Gloria Mackenzie, an 84-year-old Florida woman. She took a lump-sum cash payment of $370 million before taxes. Another large jackpot was in a Mega Millions drawing in 2012. That was a $656 million win.

And what’s the magic to winning?

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“It’s just the luck of the draw,” Everett said.

Realistically, the chances of winning are 1 in 292.2 million, according to lottery officials.

In fact, a person is more likely to get struck by lightning or bitten by a shark than win the lottery. On average, the chances of being struck by lightning are 1 in 3,000 during an average lifetime. And the chances of being bitten by a shark are less than 1 in 264.1 million.

Even after a winner is picked, the rest of the world doesn’t always have to know the person’s identity. Six states – Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and South Carolina – allow lottery winners to remain anonymous.

What you need to know about Saturday’s $700 million Powerball jackpot

UPDATED 11:42 A.M.: DES MOINES, Iowa — The odds aren’t great, but Powerball players across the country will have a shot Saturday night at a record-breaking $700 million jackpot.

Because no one won Wednesday’s estimated $500 million jackpot, the next Powerball drawing has pushed the prize to the biggest ever, beyond the previous record of $656 million. That Mega Millions prize was won in 2012 by players in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland.

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Powerball is played in 44 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Here are more details about the giant jackpot:

HOW DID THE JACKPOT GET SO LARGE?

The jackpot for the twice-weekly game started at $40 million on Nov. 4 and has been growing ever since. Because the payout is based on sales, the prize has grown more quickly as the jackpot has increased because more people have been drawn to play. In anticipation that people will rush to buy tickets, officials with the Multi-State Lottery Association estimate that Saturday’s jackpot will reach $675 million, but it’s possible they could raise it again before the drawing.

PAYMENT OPTIONS

The prize would have a cash option of $413.1 million, and that’s before taxes are deducted. The $675 million prize is based on an annuity, which would pay out the money over 29 years.

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THE ODDS? NOT GOOD

The odds are one in 292.2 million, which means you’re really, really, really unlikely to win. By comparison, your chance of being struck by lightning in a year is about one in 960,000. But as lottery officials often note, you have no chance of winning if you don’t buy a ticket.

POOLING YOUR MONEY

Some players feel they increase their odds of winning by pooling their money with co-workers, with a promise to split the winnings. Joining with colleagues and friends can increase the fun of playing, but the odds of winning are so tiny that adding 50 or 100 chances doesn’t matter much. Lottery officials recommend that if people pool their money, they put down rules in writing for splitting the prize, as it’s easy for misunderstandings to crop up when hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake.

Data curated by FindTheData

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A lottery official says the estimated prize for this weekend’s Powerball drawing is the largest jackpot of any lottery game in U.S. history.

Texas Lottery spokeswoman Kelly Cripe says Saturday’s drawing will be worth about $675 million. That’s because no one matched the numbers drawn for Wednesday night’s estimated $500 million jackpot.

Wednesday’s numbers were 2, 11, 47, 62 and 63, and the Powerball was 17.

The previous record was a $656 million Mega Millions jackpot won in March 2012.

Powerball is played in 44 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Lottery: Selling hope to the hopeless


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