Powerball Grand Prize Reaches $500 Million - Are You Playing?

It’s that wonderful time of year again when families are united, offices come together and Powerball tickets are purchased. People in 42 states are rushing to delis and gas stations to try to earn a piece of the Powerball’s highest jackpot ever, about $500 million.

Earlier this year, three winners split the highest jackpot ever -- $656 million from the Mega Millions lottery. Nine months later, there’s a $500 million prize up for grabs. Chuck Strutt, the executive director of Multi-State Lottery Association, says there’s a 60 percent chance the prize will be won tonight.

And why the large pot? In January, Powerball tickets doubled in price (from $1 to $2), which led to a 35 percent increase in revenue for Powerball. Strutt predicts that sales for Powerball will reach $5 billion by the end of the fiscal year.

In more bleak news, if you happen to win, make sure you invest wisely and “be prepared to lose friends while riding an emotional roller-coasted of joy, anxiety, guilt and distrust,” says USA Today’s Alan Scherzagier.

Many say they’d share some serious cash with friends and family. But let’s be honest. I would invest in some New York City real estate, hire a personal trainer and chef, and live my remaining years in luxury. If you do play, your odds of winning are a measly 1 in 175,223,510. It’s still fun to dream, though. What would you do if you won the jackpot?

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