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Powerball jackpot now 6th-largest in game's history

While the jackpot increases, the chance of winning all that money remains the same. There have now been 39 Powerball drawings in a row without a grand prize winner.

DES MOINES, Iowa — The giant Powerball jackpot got even bigger Friday as officials raised the estimated payout to $635 million ahead of Saturday night's drawing.

The grand prize was increased from an earlier estimate of $620 million, reflecting a surge in sales from players attracted by the potential payoff. The more people who buy tickets, the larger the prize grows.

The jackpot is now the 10th largest ever won in lottery history, though still far less than the record $1.586 billion prize set in 2016. 

Saturday's jackpot is the sixth-largest in Powerball history. 

While the jackpot increases, the chance of winning all that money remains minuscule, at one in 292.2 million. Those odds are the reason the jackpot has grown so large, as there have been 39 drawings in a row without a grand prize winner.

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The jackpot amount refers to the payout for winners who choose the annuity option, which provides 30 payments over 29 years. Nearly all winners opt for cash, which for Saturday's drawing would be an estimated $450 million.

Powerball is played in 45 states plus Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Last month, Powerball added a Monday drawing to its weekly lineup of Wednesday and Saturday evening drawings. At the time of the announcement, Powerball proclaimed the addition of the Monday drawing would lead to "larger, faster-growing jackpots." 

The Powerball website says game sales are usually stronger for a Saturday drawing versus a Wednesday or Monday drawing, which means the jackpot will be pushed higher on those days.

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