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Powerball jackpot increases to $700 million

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia Lottery officials announced Tuesday that due to anticipated demand, the Powerball jackpot has been increased to an estimated $700 million.

There were no winning tickets for the latest Powerball drawing Saturday night, but more than 119,000 Powerball tickets in Virginia won prizes, including four tickets that each won $50,000. Those tickets were bought in Norfolk, Ashland, Arlington and Glen Allen.

The winning Powerball numbers were 17, 19, 39, 43, 68 and the Powerball number was 13.

The grand prize could rank as the third richest US lottery jackpot of all time.

The current Powerball prize pool has been growing since June 10 — meaning there have been 21 straight drawings with no winner.

Powerball has always been a tough ticket to win, but it became even more difficult recently — thanks to a rule change in October 2015 that tweaked the odds.

Chances of picking all six winning numbers stand at about one in 292 million.

That means you are actually more likely to be killed by an asteroid (1 in 700,000), be struck by lightning while drowning (1 in 183 million) or give birth to quadruplets (1 in 729,000).

The longer odds also made it more likely for the Powerball jackpots to grow to a gargantuan size before a winning ticket is sold.

A $1.6 billion grand prize claimed last year became (by far) the largest U.S. lottery prize ever. It was snagged by three winning tickets on January 13, 2016.

And there’s been two other Powerball jackpots that have passed the $400 million mark so far in 2017. A $448 million prize was claimed in June and a $435 million jackpot was won in February.