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Powerball soars to $800 million

Posted at 11:34 AM, Jan 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-08 12:45:57-05

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- The record Powerball jackpot just got bigger, climbing to $800 million as sales soared in the days leading up to the drawing.

Gary Grief, executive director of the Texas Lottery, says officials with the Multi-State Lottery Association on Friday raised the estimated jackpot for Saturday night's drawing from $700 million because of strong sales.

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Grief says Powerball sales on Thursday were double the previous record for that day and that it's possible the estimated jackpot could rise again before the drawing.

A winner would have the option of being paid $800 million through annual payments over 29 years or opting for $496 million in cash.

Powerball is played in 44 states as well as the District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.