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Powerball Has Record $550 Million at Stake

Big-money dreams on the line in record drawing Wednesday night.

A record sum of money could be for the taking Wednesday night, as the Powerball jackpot has reached $550 million.

Those in New Jersey hoping to cash in have until 9:59 p.m. to snag a ticket, or two, or–well, you get the idea.

The drawing will take place at 10:59 p.m. 

With no winner since Oct. 6 and an increase in the cost of tickets to $2, the value of the pot has skyrocketed. 

The jackpot, won by matching all five white balls in any order and the red Powerball, can be paid out as either an annuitized prize paid out over 29 years or a lump sum payment, according to the game's website. If the winner chooses the annuity, the annual payment will be increased each year by the percentage set out in the Powerball game rules

Of course, $550 million would be sweet no matter how it is paid out.

For the 2012 fiscal year, sales reached a record $3.96 billion and are expected to rise even higher for FY 2013, according to an Associated Press report.

The jackpot is raised through the inclusion of 42 states, as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

With so many people playing, the odds may not be with you, but New Jersey has tasted big money very recently.

Though not a jackpot, a ticket sold at a Newark East Ward shop for $1 million in Saturday's drawing. Another $1 million ticket was sold in Cape May County for the same drawing.

With some luck hitting the Garden State, is it possible the really big money is coming to Jersey this time? Anything, of course, is possible.

Only Wednesday night's drawing will tell.

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