Powerball jackpot hits record $600 million


A Powerball lottery ticket is printed for a customer at a 7-Eleven store on November 28, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois.


Scott Olson

Powerball officials say the jackpot for this weekend's prize is now a record $600 million.

It is "the largest in the 21-year history of the game" and the second-largest in world lottery history according to the Iowa lottery.

The prize has grown by some $236 million since last Wednesday with a record number of Americans across the country buying tickets.

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Those tickets are now selling at a rate of more than 6,000 per minute in the US. That 43-state drawing takes place at 10:59 pm Eastern time on Saturday evening.

Some lottery officials are predicting the jackpot will continue to grow in the run-up to Saturday's winning numbers. The question is whether it will eclipse last year's $656 million Mega Millions pot.

“I think it’s going to be really, really close,” California Lottery spokesman Alex Traverso told The Los Angeles Times. “Every step of the way this jackpot seems to have mirrored that jackpot."

The largest Powerball jackpot prize up until now was $587.6 million.

One thing to keep in mind, the actual odds of winning are about 1 in 175 million.