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Powerball Jackpot Jumps To $425M

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BALTIMORE (WJZ/AP)  — The Powerball jackpot has jumped again.  Wednesday’s game will be worth $425 million with a $244.7 million cash option.

The midweek jackpot remains below the record $590.5 million jackpot won in May by an 84-year-old Florida woman.

The changes Powerball organizers made to the game last year are coming to roost in the billowing jackpots, with Wednesday’s pushing into record territory less than three months after Gloria C. Mackenzie of Zephyrhills, Fla., claimed the biggest Powerball prize ever.

Powerball tickets doubled in price to $2 in January 2012 as part of a plan to help jackpots grow bigger, faster. And when the jackpots reach astronomical levels, ticket sales take off, with jackpots following close behind.

No matter how many people play the game, the odds of matching all six numbers remains 1 in 175.2 million.

Half of the $2 cost of a Powerball ticket goes toward the prizes, the rest to the state lottery organization.

Powerball is played in 43 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Each state that participates in the game decides how to use the money. Some states earmark the money for a specific purpose, such as education, while others use it in their general funds.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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