Powerball’s Fourth Largest Jackpot Up For Grabs Saturday

(CBS News) – It’s a big day for starry-eyed optimists all over the country — or just about anybody with $2 for a Powerball lottery ticket. That’s because tonight’s jackpot is $325 million — the fourth largest in the game’s history.

Powerball’s single cash payout is nearly $213 million.

In 44 states and territories, people have a chance to play. And since the lottery raised the price of a single ticket to $2 in January, the prizes have increased — even while the number of tickets purchased has declined. The chances of winning Saturday’s jackpot? One in 175 million.

Recently there have been some big winners. Iowa hit it big with two big jackpots this year.

Like the Lohses in September. Mary and Brian Lohse received the No. 1 cash jackpot to an individual or a couple in Iowa Lottery’s history.

The couple bought a ticket in a $202 million contest, and took home $90 million in cash. And a group of 20 Quaker Oats workers a $241 million prize in June.

But what’s not certain is if there will be a winner this weekend. Usually lottery officials see a surge in ticket purchases before a big jackpot, but say they’re not sure how Thanksgiving will affect Saturday night’s drawing.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS News Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS NEWS and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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