Players hold breath as $700M Powerball jackpot drawing nears

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Des Moines, Iowa (AP) – Lottery players will have a shot at a $700 million Powerball jackpot that ranks as the second largest in U.S. history.

Despite incredibly long odds, people throughout the country will hold their breath Wednesday night as five white balls and one red ball are drawn from drums.

The jackpot is second only to a $1.6 billion prize won in January 2016.

The $700 million prize reflects the annuity option, paid over 29 years. A winner who wants cash would receive $443.3 million, minus federal and state taxes that generally eat up more than 30 percent of winnings.

Odds of winning the jackpot are one in 292.2 million.

Powerball is played in 44 states, as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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