DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The largest US lottery jackpot is at stake in Saturday night's Powerball drawing - $900 million.
That is the largest lottery prize ever offered in North America.
The odds of having the winning Powerball ticket are 1 in 292.2 million, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs the game. Spend what you can comfortably afford to on lottery tickets and no more.
The latest estimates are that about 75 percent of all the possible combinations will have been purchased for tonight's drawing. That is not the case. The Powerball drawing takes place at 10:59 p.m. and is broadcast live from Tallahassee, Fla.
But the lack of an extra zero isn't stopping people from lining up for tickets and buying into pools.
But my ticket has a different jackpot amount on it...
... "I'm playing for my wife and two kids and told them to give me some lucky numbers, so who knows?"
The "quick-pick" method works in number sets, which means every number doesn't have the same amount of luck one would perceive. The previous record was a $656 million Mega Millions payout in 2012 handed over to three winners in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland. He claimed a third of the $450 million jackpot in 2013. The next drawing would be held Wednesday.
The Powerball lottery is played in all states except Alabama, Mississippi, Nevada and Utah. The Power Play® number was 3.
Tickets were selling almost nonstop around 7 p.m.at Patel's Yonkers Grocery & Convenience Store on Yonkers Avenue, which has a history for selling winning tickets.
Players in Lincoln, Nebraska, said they don't expect to win, but most noted that eventually, someone will take home all that money.
Los Angeles man Dony Elias, who also has never bought a lottery ticket, picked one up and was fantasizing about more grandiose travel plans.
But don't let the odds keep you from dreaming.
That old question: What's "luckier"?
"We haven't had any winners yet, but I hope we will. I know I'm getting myself a ticket".
The huge jackpot is attracting a lot of first-time players.
In the Powerball lottery, five white balls are drawn from a drum of 69 balls, and one red one is pulled from a drum with 26. If playing multiple cards, have some variety in the grouping of numbers chosen to maximize your odds.
No one has matched the six numbers since November 4 causing it to grow from its $40 million starting point to $500 million by Wednesday night. The one-time lump-sum payment - should someone finally win - is a slightly lesser fortune of about $558 million, lottery officials said. But at least 25 percent that would go to federal income taxes, plus the difference between what was already withheld and the top rate of 39.6 percent.