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5 things to know about the Powerball jackpot

  • Article by: BARBARA RODRIGUEZ
  • Associated Press
  • February 19, 2014 - 12:15 AM

DES MOINES, Iowa — 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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