Powerball ticket
Customer buys Powerball lottery ticket in New York Reuters

The Powerball jackpot continues without a winner, increasing its grand prize to its fourth largest ever and the eight biggest in U.S. lottery history.

After a new vacant drawing on Wednesday, the estimated grand prize climbed from $1.09 billion to $1.23 billion. And the figure could continue increasing as more tickets are sold before the new drawing, set to take place next Saturday.

There have been 39 consecutive drawings without a winner by now, only two away from the record, which stands at 41. The last time someone took the top prize was on New Year's Day, then standing at over $842 million. It's not that surprising, considering that the odds of taking it are one in 292.2 million. There are smaller prizes available, which start at $4, twice as much the cost of a ticket.

Should someone win next Saturday, they could take a lump sum estimated at close to $600 million (following a series of tax deductions) or choose an annuity paid over 29 years.

Mega Millions, the other large lottery in the country, drew a winning ticket for a $1.13 billion jackpot last week. The winner, who bought the ticket in new jersey, ended 31 rounds without successful drawings, as odds of getting all of Mega Millions' six numbers right is one in more than 300 million.

Mega Millions said in a statement that only four previous jackpots had been higher than this one, "including the game's current record prize of $1.602 billion, won in Florida last August 8."

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