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Wednesday
May152013

Powerball Fever Grips the Nation Again with $360M Jackpot

William Thomas Cain/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Wednesday night's Powerball jackpot has swelled to a robust $360 million after no one matched the winning numbers during the weekend drawing, making it the third-largest Powerball jackpot of all time.

If someone matches all five numbers and the red Powerball, the cash option before taxes will be worth $229.2 million, according to Powerball's website.

The largest Powerball jackpot -- $587.5 million -- was sold in November and split between a couple from Dearborn, Mo., and a 37-year-old man from Fountain Hills, Ariz.  The cash option was worth $384.7 million before taxes.

The last big Powerball jackpot that made headlines was claimed in March when Pedro Quezada, 44, of New Jersey cashed his ticket worth a cool $338 million.

The price of a Powerball ticket doubled in January 2012 from $1 a game to $2, which has accounted for the swelling jackpots more recently.

"The game changed about a year ago.  The cost of a ticket went from a dollar to two dollars and now there are 44 states plus the District of Columbia.  More people are playing, which makes it grow even quicker," the president and CEO of the Tennessee Lottery Corp., Rebecca Hargrove, said.

If no one matches all six numbers, Wednesday night's Powerball jackpot, which is also the seventh-largest jackpot in U.S. history, could well be on its way to breaking more records.

The chances of striking it rich are one in 175,000,000, meaning a person is 25 times more likely to win an Academy Award.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio