NASHVILLE (WRCB) -- As the enormous Powerball jackpot of over one-half-billion dollars creates excitement throughout Tennessee and beyond, the Tennessee Education Lottery encourages players to have fun while following a few tips listed on its "Player Checklist:"

• Avoid the crowds! Don't wait until the last minute…Players have until 8:59 p.m. CT/9:59 ET today to purchase a ticket.
• Play responsibly … It only takes one to win!
• Sign the back of your ticket immediately after purchase.
• Check your numbers after the drawing, as there are nine ways to win playing Powerball.
• Don't know where to play? To find a Lottery retailer, just visit tnlottery.com and enter the appropriate Zip Code in the Retailer Locator section.

This $550 million jackpot is the largest ever for Powerball and the second largest jackpot in the world. The previous top Powerball prize was $365 million, won in 2006 by a group of ConAgra Foods Workers in Lincoln, Nebraska. The biggest U.S. payout was a $656 million Mega Millions jackpot hit in March and shared by three winning tickets in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland.

Powerball is played in 44 lottery jurisdictions (42 states plus Washington DC and US Virgin Islands). Playing the game is easy! Just select any five numbers from 1 to 59 and one POWERBALL number from 1 to 35, or choose Quick Pick (QP) and let the computer randomly pick any or all of your numbers. If you match any of the nine winning number combinations - you win!