MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Someone could be waking up on Thursday a multi-millionaire. The Powerball jackpot has now topped about $500 million. That’s right, half a billion dollars.

So if you’re running out to grab a ticket before Wednesday night’s drawing, you may have wondered which wins more often: The computer picking the numbers or the player?

Officials said about 70 percent of winners are computer picks.  But overall, about 70 percent of the tickets purchased are computer picks so it makes no difference. More quick picks, more quick-pick winners.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Laura Oakes Reports

Your chance of winning the jackpot is 1 in 175 million. But the overall odds of winning something like $4 for having just the Powerball number right are 1 in 32.

And if you’re busy, there’s a new way to get that lottery ticket on the fly. The BP gas station on Calhoun Parkway in Uptown lets you buy Powerball or Mega Millions ticket right at the gas pump. There are nearly a dozen other stations across the metro offering the service.

Minnesota is the first in the nation to offer ‘Play at the Pump.’

If you win in Minnesota and take the cash option, it’s $221 million after taxes. These bigger jackpots are more common now that tickets cost two dollars each. And with higher jackpots, come higher ticket sales. Officials said lottery sales are up 35 percent this year.

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