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Powerball jumps again, to $550 million

As predicted, this morning's $475 million jackpot was just a starting poiint.

UPDATE: As predicted, Powerball gigantic jackpot has been made even bigger. As of Thursday afternoon, it was up to $550 million for the annuity, $350.1 million for the cash.

Nobody hit the $360 million jackpot on Wednesday night, so overnight the top prize was set at $475 million.

But the only two jackpots that ever got so big -- both achieved last year -- got adjusted and readjusted before winding up much, much higher.

Last March, a Mega Millions jackpot of $476 million got revised several times without a single drawing and wound up at $656 million, the all-time record for any U.S. lottery.

In late November, a $325 million Powerball jackpot rolled over to $500 million, and finished at $587.5 million.

See "Largest lottery jackpots in U.S. history."

This those, this one got boosted because of wild sales.s

The new cash jackpot is also the third biggest ever.

A lot of tickets came close Wednesday night. Some 150 Powerball missed a ton of money by a single number.

Twenty-eight tickets, sold in 16 states, matched the first five numbers -- 2, 11, 26, 34 and 41 -- missing only the Powerball of 32.

Two of them, sold in Pennsylvania and Delaware, won $2 million each for matching the first five numbers, while having the Power Play prize-boosting option.

Quite a drop, though, from the $229.2 million cash jackpot.

The Pennsylvania ticket was sold in the western part of the state, at a Sheetz store on South Michael Street, in St. Marys, Elk County.

New Jersey had one of the 26 $1 million winners, who matched the first five, but not the Powerball. It was purchased at Rachel's Market, 77 Highland Ave., in Pennsville, Salem County.

Another 122 tickets had the Powerball, but missed one of the first five numbers, winning $40,000 with the Power Play, $10,000 without it.

It's a nice bit of change, but missing just one-sixth of the numbers, those players lost out on more than 99 percent of the prize money.

The odds of winning the jackpot are very small, just 1 in 175 million for a single $2 ticket.

For more about national sales, see "Powerball quickly jumps to $550M."