(Reuters) - The jackpot in the U.S. lottery Powerball grew to $403 million before the drawing on Wednesday, making it the 10th largest in the game's history.
The drawing is scheduled for 10:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday (0359 GMT on Thursday). The winner will get annual payments over 29 years, totaling $403 million, or $243.9 million in a lump sum payment, before taxes.
The last time a winning ticket in the jackpot was sold was on Dec. 17. The odds of winning the jackpot is 1 in 292,201,338
Powerball's jackpot swelled to a record $1.6 billion in January 2016, when three winning tickets were sold in Florida, California, and Tennessee. The game and a second major U.S. lottery, Mega Millions, have exceeded $400 million only a few other times.
Powerball tickets are sold in 44 states, as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Players can buy the $2 tickets with their own numbers or have the numbers randomly generated by a computer.
Half of Powerball sales goes to prizes, 40 percent to state governments for items such as education and 10 percent to retailers who sell the tickets and for other administrative costs.
(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee, edting by Larry King)