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$485 million Powerball jackpot is 5th largest in US history

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    A customer inspects the Powerball ticket she purchased at a U-Stop store in Lincoln, Neb., Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015. The $317 million prize would be the 11th largest Powerball jackpot ever and the 22nd largest in U.S. history when including Mega Millions, the other national lottery game. The pot has been rolling since early December. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
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DES MOINES, Iowa >> The Powerball jackpot has climbed to $485 million, making Wednesday night’s drawing the fifth largest prize in U.S. history.

It’s been more than two months since someone won the Powerball jackpot, so the prize has been gradually growing from its $40 million starting point.

The last time Powerball grew nearly so large was February 2014.

Lottery officials are quick to point out that the game is fun and a chance to dream. They note the chance of winning a Powerball jackpot is about 1 in 175 million.

Besides giving players an opportunity to fantasize, huge jackpots also are good news for the state lotteries that run the game.

Powerball revenue has been down slightly during a drought of jackpots, but officials say this big prize has caused sales to surge.

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