Share This Page

Powerball jackpot rises to $550 million

| Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, 4:18 p.m.

The clock is ticking on a chance to buy a ticket for one of the richest jackpots in lottery history.

High-volume ticket sales have pushed the Powerball jackpot to a record $550 million for a winning ticket holder who selects payment in the form of an annuity. The lump sum cash prize is $360.2 million, according to state lottery officials.

Only the $656 million Mega Millions jackpot on March 30 was higher. The winner claimed a $471 million cash payment.

The sale of Powerball tickets — sold in 42 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands — will end at 9:59 p.m. on Wednesday.

The drawing will be televised during WTAE-TV's 11 p.m. newscast. Other stations will announce the numbers drawn during their news programs.

As the drawing approaches, ticket sales have spiked.

At midday on Tuesday, players in Pennsylvania were buying $6,700 worth of tickets per minute.

As of 1 p.m. on Wednesday, would-be millionaires were scooping up tickets at a rate of $37,000 a minute, according to Gary Miller, a lottery spokesman.

Players pay $2 per ticket — or $1 more with the Powerplay option — and select five white balls from the first set of 59 numbers plus a single red ball, the Powerball, from a second set of 35 numbers.

Odds of hitting the jackpot are 1 in 175.2 million, which was lowered in January from 1 in 192 million.

The current Powerball jackpot run began on Oct. 6.

Tony LaRussa is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7987 or tlarussa@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.