Wednesday's Powerball jackpot now $500 million and growing

Powerball

Powerball (Credit: (Chris Ware))

Half a billion dollars could be won Wednesday night as New Yorkers test their luck along with the rest of the country.

The jackpot for the Powerball lottery soared Tuesday to a record $500 million and could increase again by the time the winning numbers are revealed, a lottery official said.

The payout jumped nearly $175 million due to brisk ticket sales after no one won the top prize in Saturday's drawing, said Mary Neubauer, a spokeswoman for the Iowa Lottery, where Powerball is based.

"It really gets into uncharted territory at this point," she said. "Sales across the country are just through the roof. It means lots of people are having fun with this, but it makes it difficult to keep up with the [jackpot] estimate."

The prize money grew exponentially over the last two months because there haven't been any Powerball winners during that period.

The potential windfall has drawn interest from around the world, Neubauer said. Lottery officials have received calls and emails from people outside the U.S. asking if they can buy a ticket from afar.

"No, that's not possible," Neubauer said.

Tags: NEWS , Powerball , Mega Millions , ARTICLE , AMNY , HOLD

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