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Huge Sales Push Powerball Jackpot To $500 Million

Powerball Ticket (credit: Tim Boyle/Getty Images/File)

Powerball Ticket (credit: Tim Boyle/Getty Images/File)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The record Powerball jackpot is growing.

Huge tickets sales nationwide boosted the top prize from $425 million to $500 million for Wednesday’s drawing.

The jackpot is the largest in Powerball’s history and the second highest in lottery history. The $656 million Mega Millions prize in March still holds the record for biggest prize.

Powerball tickets were a hot item Tuesday night at one store on Varick Street. And it was easy for buyers to come up with a plan, 1010 WINS Sonia Rincon reported.

“Right off the bat, I’d probably get my mother a nice house, get some family members a bunch of presents, buy a company and hire a bunch of people to run it, and then just spend the rest of my time traveling,” said one customer, Jay.

The shopkeeper was already feeling lucky.

“This Saturday, the 1 millionth winner of our store. This is a very, very lucky place to buy the tickets,” he said.

And in Little Ferry, N.J., residents torn apart by Suepstorm Sandy were also hoping for some luck. Winning numbers could help rebuild her home that stood for five generations, now destroyed by the floodwaters that rushed through her doors the night Sandy struck.

1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon Reports

Phil Dittmar said help from charities and government agencies has not bee sufficient.

“I know neighbors who have lost a lot and who are depending on the generosity of FEMA and the Red Cross, but it doesn’t look like there’s enough,” he said.

For that reason, Dittmar purchased five more tickets than usual, with big plans if he hits the jackpot.

“I want to take care of the people in Little Ferry. I would make a donation of at least 25 percent of my winnings to the town,” he said.

To date, New York has sold four jackpot-winning Powerball tickets.

Powerball is played in 42 states, Washington, D.C., and the Virgin Islands.