Powerball jackpot hits $500 million

November 27, 2012: 3:09 PM ET
powerball ticket
A Powerball lottery ticket is seen in a convenience store in Washington on November 26, 2012.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

Wednesday's Powerball drawing could be one for the history books, with the jackpot rising to a record $500 million.

The prize for Saturday night's Powerball was $325 million -- the fourth-largest in the game's history. For the 15th consecutive time, no players matched the winning numbers, which were 22, 32, 37, 44, 50 and Powerball 34.

The top prize now increases to an estimated $500 million, the largest in the history of the multi-state lottery game. The next drawing will take place Wednesday.

In 2006, the game handed out its largest prize to date -- $365 million -- to eight co-workers at a Nebraska meat-packing plant.

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The Powerball is held in 42 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The prize is still short of the U.S. record lottery payout of $656 million, set in March by a Mega Millions jackpot that was split between three winners.

For all the excitement surrounding Wednesday's drawing, gamblers are likely better off trying their luck elsewhere.

Research shows that the lottery pays out at one of the lowest rates among commercial gambling games. The odds of winning the top prize in Wednesday's drawing? One in 175 million.

CNNMoney's James O'Toole contributed reporting.

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