Powerball jackpot at $600 million -- and climbing

Pedro Quezada holds up a promotional check during a news conference at the New Jersey Lottery headquarters, Tuesday, March 26, 2013, in Lawrenceville, N.J.

Julio Cortez/AP

DES MOINES, Iowa Powerball officials say the jackpot has climbed to an estimated $600 million, making it the largest prize in the game's history and the world's second largest lottery prize.

Lottery officials say the prize is growing quickly Friday because so many people have been purchasing the $2 tickets. The jackpot has grown by an estimated $236 million since the last drawing on Wednesday.

Richard Lustig, seven-time lottery grand prize winner and author of "Learn How To Increase Your Chances of Winning The Lottery," believes picking the same numbers regularly, even if you are losing, gives you more edge in the next drawing.

"It doesn't matter how you pick your numbers, once you pick your set of numbers, research them to know if it's a good set of numbers and stick with them. There's no magic method to picking your numbers, I get emails every day asking. One number doesn't win the jackpot, a set of numbers does," said Lustig.

"The lazy way out is to buy quick-picks. The computer picks out the numbers. Don't play quick-picks. Quick-picks are the worst thing you can do, you are playing with the worst odds," he added.

The last jackpot was won on March 30, so it's been growing for about six weeks. The next drawing is Saturday night.

The largest jackpot ever was a $656 million Mega Millions prize won in March 2012. The prize was split three ways with winners in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland.

Odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are about 1 in 175 million.

Another important part of playing the lottery, Lustig cautions, is setting a budget of how much you can afford on tickets.

"Don't get lottery fever- don't use your grocery money, or your rent money. Remember one thing, if there is one winner on Saturday night, there will be millions of losers, don't be that person Sunday morning worrying about how you can pay back the money you spent," said Lustig.