Powerball jackpot hits $800 million

Jerry Clark buys Powerball lotter tickets, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016 at Bill's Kwik Chek in Chambersburg, Pa. The estimated prize for this weekend's Powerball drawing has grown to about $700 million, making it the largest jackpot of any lottery game in U.S. history. (Markell DeLoatch(/Public Opinion via AP) HERALD-MAIL OUT; THE RECORD HERALD OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The record Powerball jackpot just got bigger, climbing to $800 million as sales soared in the days leading up to the drawing.RELATED | FAQs about the record Powerball jackpot

Gary Grief, executive director of the Texas Lottery, says officials with the Multi-State Lottery Association on Friday raised the estimated jackpot for Saturday night's drawing from $700 million because of strong sales.

Grief says Powerball sales on Thursday were double the previous record for that day and that it's possible the estimated jackpot could rise again before the drawing.

A winner would have the option of being paid $800 million through annual payments over 29 years or opting for $496 million in cash.

Powerball is played in 44 states as well as the District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press

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