Category: Society / November 27, 2012 9:03 PM EST
People with dreams of their own private Caribbean island lined up at agencies across the United States on Tuesday (November 27) to buy tickets in the Powerball lottery game, which now offers a jackpot of a record 500 million dollars -- a figure which is likely to increase by the time the winning numbers are drawn on Wednesday.
The odds of any single person winning the grand prize is 175 million to one. The fact that there is a greater chance -- merely 280,000 to one -- of being struck by lightning compared to winning the Powerball jackpot has been small deterrence to those with plans to become an instant millionaire.
"I'd be happy just to win a small percentage of it, just enough to have that safety zone where you can enjoy some of the finer things in life," said Paul Johnson, who was purchasing tickets at a convenience store in Washington.
Tickets can be purchased in 42 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The previous top Powerball prize of $365 million was won in 2006 by a group of slaughterhouse workers in Nebraska.
In March, three winning tickets were claimed in the largest U.S. lottery jackpot, the $656 million Mega Millions drawing.