Update: 3 winning Powerball tickets sold with $564M jackpot up for grabs


Three people are waking up with bigger bank accounts Thursday.

ABC News reports three winning Powerball tickets were sold – one each in North Carolina, Texas and Puerto Rico – with all six drawn numbers matched.

The jackpot was up to $564 million, swelling after two months of no winning tickets to one of the largest sums in Powerball history.

You can check on the Powerball website to see whether anyone comes forward to claim the prize.

According to CBS, growing jackpots are good news for lottery organizers, who saw an added rush of ticket sales as the winning amount increased, following a 30 percent decline in sales during 2014.

This is the first time the top Powerball prize has topped $400 million since last February, when Californian Raymond Buxton won $425.3 million, according to CNN Money.

Is it worth buying a ticket?

Should you have bothered handing over your hard-earned $2 for the chance at $500 million? The Business Insider doesn't think so.

According to the Powerball website, the chances of you actually matching 5 balls and the Powerball to win the jackpot stands at 1 in 175 million. Even to win a measly $4 by getting the Powerball carries odds of 1 in 55.

The Business Insider calculated that given the probabilities involved, and with the added caveat that winnings are taxed, the actual real value of a $2 ticket for tonight's draw is just 29 cents.

What if you win?

Well if you win, you'll have to make the choice of whether to take the prize as a taxed lump sum (which would reduce it to around $340 million) or have the payments (and tax) spread out over the next 30 years, leaving the rest invested.

Rather than splurge on a house, a boat or supercar, the first thing you should look to spend your money on, according to NBC News, is a financial planner, to ensure your cash is wisely used and the future for you and your family secured.

KHOU suggests winners stay anonymous if their state rules allow it (Minnesota doesn't, North Dakota does) and also says people shouldn't make any major lifestyle changes in the first six months, giving yourself time to consider things rather than making any rash decisions.

The station's list of "10 things to do when you win the lottery" also includes investing prudently, sticking to a budget, paying off your debts, protecting your assets and planning to make tax-deductible charity gifts.

If you do want to splurge though, Bankrate has a list of cars lottery winners should buy.

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