USA TODAY - Lottery fever is hitting much of the USA again.
Wednesday's Powerball jackpot is now up to $425 million after no one hit Saturday's $307 million top prize.
That's relative peanuts compared with the all-time record $656 Mega Millions jackpot split between three ticket holders in March 2012 and the $590.5 million Powerball jackpot won by 84-year old Florida retiree Gloria MacKenzie May 18.
Still, it's the fourth-largest jackpot ever and expected to spur millions of ticket sales in 43 states, Washington, D.C., and the Virgin Islands in the final hours before Wednesday night's drawing at 11 p.m. ET.
"Without a doubt, when you get over $300 million, there's major excitement,'' says New Jersey Lottery spokeswoman Judith Drucker.
The long-odds winner will receive a lump sum, pre-tax payout of $244.7 million.
Powerball's last big winner was Pennsylvania's Patricia Chandler, who hit a $131.5 million jackpot June 22. Chandler, a social worker who lives in Upper Darby, pocketed a lump-sum $77.4 million in Philadelphia last week.
"We're seeing brisk sales for this one,'' says Pennsylvania Lottery spokesman Gary Miller. "We'd love to see lightning strike twice."
Chances of matching all six Powerball numbers: 1 in 175 million.
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