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Powerball jackpot reaches $330 million

Agnes Vion, of Nesconset, holds up her Power

Agnes Vion, of Nesconset, holds up her Power Ball tickets inside of Nesconset Cards & Gifts in Nesconset on Feb. 15, 2014. Credit: Newsday / Ed Betz

A blizzard of Powerball ticket sales pushed yesterday's jackpot up to $330 million as hopefuls bet on being the first big winner since December.

The roughly $44 million jump from Wednesday's advertised jackpot was due to brisk ticket sales, according to the New York State Lottery. The drawing was held Saturday night.

"Everyone is excited to win," said Sagar Paltel, assistant manager of Cori's Lucky Lotto store in Wantagh.

Paltel said an abundance of snow has slowed ticket sales but big jackpots are always a big draw.

Jordan Fogel, 53, of Bellmore, looks forward to winning the jackpot so he can escape the rigors of winter -- for good.

"When it hits the large number, it's a better chance for retirement," the pharmacist said.

A lump sum payout would total $189 million before taxes, lottery officials said.

New York sales have been $45.9 million since the current jackpot began growing on Dec. 28. Powerball is played in 43 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The largest ever Powerball jackpot was more than $590 million and was won in Florida last May.

The December jackpot of $71 million was won in Missouri.

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