Includes audio report
NEW YORK — Tonight's Powerball drawing carries an estimated $400 million jackpot, one of the largest in U.S. lottery history.
It's rolled over 15 times since December and will be the fourth-biggest Powerball jackpot and sixth-highest lottery prize of all time.
At A&A Market in Hell's Kitchen, cashier Ali Muhammed is preparing for customers to line up.
"Everybody comes," said Muhammed. "They play extra. Some people play for $100, $200."
Changes in the ways big multistate lotteries like Powerball and Mega Millions are played have increased the frequency of staggering jackpots.
The nation's biggest lottery prize was a $656 million dollar Mega Millions jackpot in March 2012 that was shared by three winning tickets sold in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland.
Looking for the winning numbers?
Tonight's Powerball drawing will be conducted at 11:00 pm Eastern Time, and the winning numbers will be published immediately after the drawing at USA Mega and on Lottery Post's Lottery Results page.
A couple of hours later we'll find out if there was a big winner, or if Saturday's drawing will tempt the record books.
The second-largest came in December, a $636 million Mega Millions prize. The two winning tickets were purchased in San Jose, Calif., and Atlanta.
The biggest Powerball jackpot ever was a $590.5 million prize won by a Florida woman last May.
A group of employees from the Ocean County Vehicle Maintenance Department had one of three winning tickets in August's $448.4 million Powerball jackpot.
Jackpots like Wednesday's $400 million Powerball can grant a lot of wishes. But what if you were the only winner, and you had but one chance to blow all that money on a single purchase?
A single winner taking the lump sum payout would end up with about $230 million. Opting for the quick cash grab, accounting for taxes, would still leave more than $100 million to invest wisely.
If you ignore the cautious advice of accountants and money managers and are ready to spend big, real estate listings, auction houses and even simple web searches are full of ideas to separate you and your newfound wealth.
Home By The Sea?
About $130 million would get you Copper Beech Farm in Greenwich, Ct. The 13,500-square-foot home once owned by the Lauder Greenway family has 12 bedrooms and seven full bathrooms on 50 acres overlooking Cos Cob Harbor.
Or, save a few bucks and head to Fiji, where $25 million is the listed price of Koro Island, a South Pacific getaway apparently endorsed by no less an authority than the 19th century seafaring explorer William Bligh, according to an online real estate listing.
Movin' On Up?
If you're a city slicker, your $100 million could still go a long way, even in the hyper-expensive real estate market of New York City.
But you'd better act fast if you want your money to stand out. A town house on the Upper East Side recently sold for $100 million to the state of Qatar, which plans to turn the home into a consulate in what would likely be the most expensive residential sale in New York's history.
Travel In Luxury
Care to travel by sea or air? An online luxury yacht broker lists the 213-foot Ambrosia III for $79.4 million, complete with a crew of 20.
And while it might not be for sale, perhaps an offer can be made to movie director Tyler Perry, who reportedly owns a Gulfstream III private jet valued at an estimated $125 million. The jet features TV and video screens galore, theater lighting and remote-controlled window shades.
If you fancy fine art, a Wednesday win would instantly put you in play for rare works by impressionists Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
Some of their paintings are expected to fetch from $10 million to $35 million apiece at auctions this spring. For $50 million, the total collection from the private trove of deceased New York copper heiress Huguette Clark could be yours.
The sale by Christie's auction house includes a Stradivari violin, Gilded Age furniture and rare books.
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