Powerball prize up to $1.5 billion, could grow

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Powerball fever

The largest lottery jackpot in the world is up for grabs in the latest Powerball drawing.

The prize has climbed to an estimated $1.5 billion, easily surpassing all other lotteries. The jackpot estimate is reviewed daily, so it could increase before Wednesday night's drawing if ticket sales continue to exceed expectations.

The jackpot for the twice-weekly game started at $40 million on Nov. 4. No one has matched all six Powerball numbers since then, so the prize kept growing.

Lottery officials expect at least 80 percent of the 292.2 million number combinations will be purchased before the drawing.

If you happened to be that one lucky person to hold the golden ticket, in North Carolina you're going to have to adhere to one rule: Some of your personal information will be released to the public.

"We think it's important that people who are playing the lottery know that there are winners, and who the winners are. It adds credibility and trust," said North Carolina Education Lottery Communications Director Can Denton. "Most states that have lotteries, it's public information who the winner is. In North Carolina what is public is your name, the city and state, the game you were playing and how much you won and the date you claimed your prize."

Some lottery players wish the winner could remain anonymous.

"I don't like it," said Powerball player Ryan Weymann. "I prefer to be anonymous."

Others have a plan for once they win.

"It won't bother me because I'll hire security," said Powerball player Gary Sidberry.

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