Are you feeling lucky? Powerball jackpot balloons to $360 m - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Are you feeling lucky? Powerball jackpot balloons to $360 million

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(NBC & WRCB) -- A lucky winner (or winners) could take home one of Powerball's largest jackpots on Wednesday night as the prize rose to an estimated $360 million dollars.

That makes it the third largest Powerball jackpot in at least a decade. Lottery officials have said that such stratospheric payouts will become more common as a result of a redesign last year. Those changes were intended to produce bigger jackpots faster, and raised the price of a ticket to $2.

"It usually took a handful of months, if not several months, for a jackpot to reach this large amount," Iowa Lottery spokeswoman Mary Neubauer told the Associated Press. "Now it's achieving that within a handful of weeks. I think the redesign is achieving exactly what we had wanted it to achieve, which is the bigger, faster-growing jackpot."

Powerball tickets are sold in 43 states. The biggest Powerball jackpot ever totaled $587.5 million and was split between two tickets on Nov. 28. New Jersey resident Pedro Quezada won the fourth largest Powerball prize ever in March, taking home a $338 million jackpot.

With changes made to the Powerball by dropping some of the red numbers, your chance of winning the grand prize has improved slightly, from one in 195 million to about 1 in 175 million.

For context, your chances of being struck by lightning (in one year in the U.S.) are about 1 in 700,000.

While odds of getting rich quick remain slim, more players are likely to take home a smaller prize by matching fewer numbers. And for those who miss tonight's jackpot can take consolation: the Mega Millions jackpot rolled over to $190 million Tuesday night. The next drawing of that game comes Friday.

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