Powerball Fever Grips the Nation Again With $360M Jackpot

PHOTO: Powerball tickets await players at Cumberland Farms convenience store in Washington Crossing, Penn.
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Tonight's Powerball jackpot has swelled to a robust $360 million after no one matched the winning numbers during the weekend drawing, making it the third-largest Powerball jackpot of all time.

If someone matches all five numbers and the red Powerball, the cash option before taxes will be worth $229.2 million, according to Powerball 's website.

The largest Powerball jackpot, $587.5 million, was sold in November and split between a couple from Dearborn, Mo., and a 37-year-old man from Fountain Hills, Ariz. The cash option was worth $384.7 million before taxes. The last big Powerball jackpot that made headlines was claimed in March when Pedro Quezada, 44, of New Jersey cashed his ticket worth a cool $338 million.

RELATED: Powerball Winner Pedro Quezada: Money 'Will Not Change My Heart'

The price of a Powerball ticket doubled in January 2012 from $1 a game to $2, which has accounted for the swelling jackpots more recently.

"The game changed about a year ago. The cost of a ticket went from a dollar to two dollars and now there are 44 states plus the District of Columbia. More people are playing, which makes it grow even quicker," president and CEO of the Tennessee Lottery Corp. Rebecca Hargrove said.

If no one matches all six numbers, tonight's Powerball jackpot could well be on its way to breaking more records. But the $360 jackpot is a remarkable figure that could practically make someone's caviar dreams and champagne wishes become a reality overnight.

RELATED: How Lottery Winners Spend Their Money

Real estate "Shark" Barbara Corcoran knows exactly what the mega-rich want in their posh mansions.

"Pools, cabanas bigger than your house and my house combined and, most recently, the biggest status symbol; build your own small museum on your property so you can show off your art collection," she says. "Crazy but, hey, they've got the bucks."

And the big bucks can get you a 12-bedroom Bel Air, Calif., mansion on the market for $125 million. The $360 jackpot can be a one-way ticket to acquiring six Greek islands, which were recently purchased for $11 million by Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the emir of Qatar. Then, there's the mega yacht like the one rumored to be built for the deputy prime minister of United Arab Emirates worth $350 million.

Tonight's Powerball drawing is also the seventh-largest jackpot in U.S. history. Indeed, more than half the all-time jackpot records have been reached in the past three years.

The chances of striking it rich are one in 175,000,000, meaning a person is 25 times more likely to win an Academy Award. But dreaming big is part of the Powerball fun.

There were no winners in Tuesday night's Mega Millions drawing and the jackpot has grown to $190 million. The next drawing is scheduled for Friday.

RELATED: A Look at the Top 10 World Record Lottery Jackpots

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