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The Powerball jackpot has hit $485 million, making it the third-largest jackpot in the game's history and the fifth-largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history.

 

 

 

Many states have been in the Powerball game, juicing up those jackpots, but the larger jackpots are also thanks to tweaks that made the odds of winning a jackpot longer.

The jackpots start at $40 million and rise when there is no grand-prize winner. No one claimed the $394-million jackpot in last Saturday’s drawing, but there were two winning tickets worth about $1.4 million each.

Only six states allow winners to be anonymous, and the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are the same at each drawing -- about 1 in 176 million.

You're more likely to be killed by an asteroid, with odds of 1 in 700,000 than hitting the jackpot.

With such an enormous sum at stake, who better to turn to then Richard Lustig — seven-time lottery grand prize winner and author of "Learn How To Increase Your Chances of Winning The Lottery" — for tips on how to win.

Lustig decided to come up with a method, which he claims has helped him win seven grand prizes, including his last jackpot of $98,000 three-and-a-half years ago.

Lustig says a guaranteed way to increase your chances of winning the lottery is simply by picking your own numbers versus using the "quick-pick" ticket option.

"It doesn't matter how you pick your numbers, once you pick your set of numbers, research them to know if it's a good set of numbers and stick with them. There's no magic method to picking your numbers..." says Lustig.

"The lazy way out is to buy quick-picks. The computer picks out the numbers. Don't play quick-picks. Quick-picks are the worst thing you can do, you are playing with the worst odds," he says.

Another important part of playing the lottery, Lustig cautions, is setting a budget of how much you can afford on tickets.

"Don't get lottery fever- don't use your grocery money, or your rent money."