Powerball jackpot climbs to a whopping $359 million

MIAMI (WSVN) - The top prize prize for Wednesday night’s Powerball drawing has climbed to $359 million, the 18th largest jackpot in U.S. lottery history.

In South Florida, Powerball players tried their luck before the Wednesday night drawing, hoping to make for a very happy holiday weekend. According to Powerball, the top prize comes with a cash option of $219.6 million.

“I want to win money, so I can pay off school!” Anioski Besir said.

Players also have the opportunity to win so-called “lower tier” prizes, which aren’t too shaby. They range from $2 million to $4 million, by matching any of the non-jackpot-winning combinations.

Despite the big pay out, many South Florida stores weren’t seeing big crowds or long lines.

“Every time I play I feel lucky, but it never happened to me yet. I’m still waiting for when I’m going to win,” Alain Pierre, a Powerball player, said.

The Powerball jackpot has rolled 17 times since the Sept. 21 drawing and has generated more than $26.5 million in contributions to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund.

The odds of winning are about one in 292,000,000, but those going for it said they have to dream big.

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