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Powerball Jackpot Jumps To $550 Million

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) - The record Powerball jackpot just keeps rising. It now stands at $550 million after officials say brisk sales keep driving up the payout amount.

The prize was $425 million after nine weeks without a winner. The jackpot was boosted to $500 million on Tuesday and raised again Wednesday morning to $550 million.

In Texas alone, more than $30 million worth of Powerball tickets were sold before 9 p.m. on Wednesday.  Including over $2 million in the last hour of sales.

"Texas has never had a Powerball jackpot winner and we are hoping for a big win tonight," Texas Lottery Commission executive director Gary Grief said in a press release statement. "We wish our players good luck and remind them that it only takes one ticket to win."

At one point in the evening, Powerball tickets in Texas were being sold at a rate of nearly $60,000 per minute.

A winner taking the cash option would get $360.2 million before taxes.

The numbers are an estimate and could be increased again as the drawing nears.

Powerball officials say they now believe there is a 75-percent chance that the winning combination of numbers will be drawn Wednesday night. But if no one matches all six numbers tonight, the jackpot will be an estimated $900 million for the drawing on Saturday.

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