A former Western Michigan University student has been charged with making threats last year about a campus shooting.get more >>
A former Western Michigan University student has been charged with making threats last year about a campus shooting. get more >>
Powerball officials say the jackpot for Wednesday night's drawing is now $550 million.
The price of a ticket doubled in January to $2 as part of a plan to build jackpots faster, drive sales and generate more money for states that play the game. That plan appears to be working with sales revenue up about 35 percent over last year. Record jackpots encourage players who usually sit on the sidelines to play and group purchases from work pools increase.
The jackpot is the largest ever for the Powerball game and the second largest lottery jackpot of all time, eclipsed only by the $656 million Mega Millions record set in March.
Officials will draw the winning numbers at 10:59p.m. Wednesday, but you only have until 9:45p.m. to buy one.
Jim Stapleton, an MSU statistic professor, says the odds of winning are one in 175-million, which is the same as tossing a quarter 27 times and landing on heads consequitvely.
"It's extremely unlikely, you're more likely to be hit by lightning twice in the same day," said Stapleton.
But those odds aren't stopping people from playing. Jim Rathbun of Lansing bought a ticket and even stopped at a psychic to see if there's lots of money in his future.
"Hopefully it helps. It definitely makes me feel a little bit luckier," said Rathbun.
Some hope they increase their luck by buying stones, oils or incense.
"I mean it's $500 million. People are looking any edge they can possibly get," said Bradley Moore, a numberologist.
So as last-minute Powerball players purchase their tickets, Stapleton offers this advice: it's better to pick your own numbers and the more you buy, the better your odds.
The estimated take-home value after taxes is about $252 million.