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Powerball jackpot bounces to $425 million

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Dreamers flocked to gas stations and other vendors in Minnesota and around the nation Wednesday, buying Powerball lottery tickets as the jackpot soared to near-record highs.

The jackpot for the 10 p.m CT Wednesday drawing is estimated at $425 million (or $244.7 million in a lump sum payment), Powerball says. Each ticket is $2.

A $425 million jackpot would be the fourth-biggest for any U.S. lottery, Reuters reports.

The largest jackpot in U.S. history remains at $656 million, won in the Mega Millions lottery in March 2012, split among winners in Maryland, Kansas and Illinois.

The top single-winner Powerball jackpot of $590.5 million was claimed just two months ago by an 84-year-old Florida woman. She opted for the lump-sum payment of nearly $371 million.

The Minnesota State Lottery just recently announced that some big jackpots helped drive record sales in the fiscal year that ended in June, Minnesota Public Radio reported.

Here's the top 15 biggest jackpots ever.

When jackpots soar, does it make economic sense to buy a lottery ticket? The Wall Street Journal answers: "No."

Odds of winning Powerball tonight? About 1 in 175 million.

You have a lot better chance of dying of bee sting, or of hitting three consecutive hole-in-one shots on par-3 holes in golf, CNN reported in an odds list.

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