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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Can you imagine winning $700 million? Someone is going to do just that now that the estimated jackpot for Wednesday night’s Powerball lottery game has climbed to $700 million, the second-largest in U.S. history.

The biggest Powerball jackpot was $1.6 billion on Jan. 13, 2016. There were three winning tickets in that drawing from California, Florida, and Tennessee.

Jackpot prizes are paid in 30 annual installments or as a one-time, lump-sum payment of an estimated at $443.3 million, which would be taxed even more at the state and federal levels. Federal income taxes will take a 25-percent bite from winnings. State taxes vary.

Powerball tickets are $2 each and can be played in 44 states, Washington DC, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The chance of winning Powerball is incredibly small, at 292.2 million to one. Tom Rietz, a professor at the University of Iowa who researches probabilities, says one way to think about it is to envision the 324 million U.S. residents. Your chance of winning is roughly comparable to being that one lucky person out of the entire population, with everyone else losing.

You can watch the Powerball drawing Wednesday night during the 11pm news on CBS4, your official lottery station.


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