Powerball ‘jackpot chasers’ boost prize to $500 million

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) – Powerball frenzy is alive and well Wednesday morning, just hours before the latest drawing. The jackpot grew, again, to $500 million late Tuesday morning.

Before that, the jackpot stood at $450 million, but so-called “jackpot chasers” are the reason it jumped again, by $50 million. It is based on sales, and lottery officials said sales are through the roof in anticipation of the 10:59 p.m. Wednesday drawing.

The jackpot has rolled 17 times, since the November 7th drawing, resulting in the latest jackpot. This jackpot is the 4th largest in Powerball history.

Find out the Luckiest Powerball Numbers

Ticket sales end at 10:00 p.m. ET; 59 minutes before the drawing.

The chances of winning are 1-in-292 million, lottery officials said. Here are eight things more likely to happen than win tomorrow’s jackpot:

  • Get killed by a shark (1 in 11.5 million)
  • Become president of the United States (1 in 10 million)
  • Become a well known Hollywood movie star (1 in 1.5 million)
  • Play professional football in the NFL (1 in 1 million)
  • Be crushed by an asteroid that falls out of the sky (1 in 700,000)
  • Make a hole in one on a par 3 hole (1 in 12,500)
  • Get injured by a toilet (1 in 10,000)
  • Get struck by lightning (1 in 3,000)

Before you get too discouraged, keep in mind that the odds of winning at least some kind of Powerball prize, even your money back, are not too shabby: about 1 in 32.

In May of 2013, Gloria MacKenzie, 84, of Zephyrhills, won the largest jackpot in game history.

NBC News contributed to this report.

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