Powerball Jackpot Climbs to $317 Million for Wednesday’s Drawing

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It's been a while, but there's a giant Powerball jackpot that's expected to have a prize of $317 million by Wednesday night's drawing. 

The $317 million prize would be the 11th largest Powerball jackpot ever and the 22nd largest in U.S. history when including Mega Millions, the other national lottery game.

The total is a return to form for Powerball, which has been known, along with Mega Millions, for its record-breaking jackpots in recent years. But there's been something of a drought, with nearly a year passing since the Powerball total climbed above $300 million.

Before the latest prize, Powerball's last major jackpot was in February 2014 when it was $425 million. There was a $326 million jackpot won for Mega Millions in November, that game's first major jackpot since March 2014, when it reached $414 million.

Since 2012, officials have sought to increase revenue by tinkering with Powerball and Mega Millions, primarily changing some ticket prices and lowering the odds of winning jackpots.

Lottery officials said there's no particular reason for the lull. Terry Rich, president of the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries and CEO of the Iowa Lottery, said lottery jackpots are inherently random. The game is expected to have slow periods based on projection models, he added.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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