BY DESIGN: The $500 million Powerball jackpot was part of a plan lottery officials put in place early this year to build jackpots faster. There has been no Powerball winner since Oct. 6, and the jackpot already has reached a record.
REVENUE BOOST: The potential for a big win means higher revenue for states, because once the jackpot reaches a certain threshold, more players buy. Of the $2 cost of a Powerball ticket, half is kept by the state lottery organization.
SALES SPIKE: It's possible more than $1 billion in tickets will be sold by the time the drawing is held Wednesday.