Near-Record Powerball Jackpot Drawing Takes Place Tonight

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Wednesday night is the drawing for the second largest Powerball jackpot in US history. The top prize has soared to an estimated 700-million-dollars.

The prize pool has been growing since June 10, the last time somebody won.

The dreams of winning big cash like this have keep lottery machines busy, especially at a gas station in Doral.

“We come from a poor family, we’re not rich so if I hit it my family would be taken care of,” said Eddie Sutton.

“I just want a car, nothing else,” dreamed Israel Campos.

Powerball player Kathleen Fleming said she has plans for the money too. “Hire a financial planner, donate some money to charity and throw a big party.”

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.

Despite the taxes, this jackpot is more than enough to hand in your two weeks notice.

“I’m gonna hand in my one-day resignation,” said Wilson Vargas. “It’s not gonna be a two week notice, it’s gonna be a one-day resignation.”

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.

More from Bianca Peters
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