It's time to resolve your unpaid child support bills, gamblers. One lucky person stands to win a massive $360 million prize if his Powerball lottery numbers are drawn Wednesday night.
The current jackpot - the third largest in Powerball history - outpaces the $338 million pool won by Passaic, N.J., resident Pedro Quezada in March.
Quezada, authorities revealed, owed about $30,000 in child support to his ex-wife. Police issued a warrant for Quezada in 2009 and after his big win he remained "subject to potential arrest," according to Passaic County Sheriff Richard Berdnik. He ultimately paid the debt from his lump-sum award, which CNN valued at approximately $152 million after taxes.
The odds of winning the current jackpot are about 1 in 175 million, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association. Ticket-holders stand a much better chance of winning smaller prizes, as low as $4, from the drawing.
New York Lottery spokesperson Carolyn Hapeman told U.S. News that Powerball tickets were selling at a rate of "over $630,000 an hour" in the Empire State on Wednesday.
"In contrast, Powerball sales in New York alone in the hours leading up to the record $587M jackpot in Nov, 2012 were over $4 million an hour," said Hapeman in an email. "[S]ales will continue to climb throughout today as we get closer to draw time (9 p.m. EST) and will grow exponentially if the jackpot rolls tonight."
New Jersey State Lottery spokesperson Judy Drucker told U.S. News Wednesday sales in the state passed $1.9 million in the early afternoon. “We can expect sales to continue briskly throughout the day, seeing spikes in the after work day hours,” she said.
Cumulative sales in New Jersey for the Wednesday jackpot total more than $6.1 million, Drucker said. “May 15 will be the 15th roll. With each draw, the sales have increased,” she said.
Powerball tickets are sold for $2 a piece in 30 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Washington, D.C. Winners must be identified to the public in all states except Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota and Ohio, according to the lottery association.
Updated 05/15/13: This article was updated with information from the New Jersey State Lottery.