Powerball at $400 million — and rising!

We’re now into some really big money for Powerball: we’re talking $400 million-plus.

Powerball, which has rolled over since Nov. 7 (that’s 17 times) is at the seventh-highest lottery jackpot total ever. The record is $656 million in March 2012, when three players split the top prize in Mega Millions.

The next Powerball drawing is at 10:59 p.m. Wednesday. The exact grand prize won’t be computed until Thursday morning, and generally during these big run-ups, there’s a rush of ticket sales the day of the drawing.  (Sales cut off at 10 p.m. EST.) And more sales = higher jackpot than advertised. For example, Saturday’s jackpot was advertised at $334 million but actually was $355 million. Powerball officials, naturally, like to be conservative about things.

Florida lottery officials note that players also can win lower-tier prizes from $4 up to $2 million by matching any of the non-jackpot-winning combinations. They note there have been more than one million Florida Powerball winners in this series of rollovers, hitting for more than $9 million in prizes. All told, 204 Floridians have won at least $1 million since the state joined Powerball in January 2009, including 10 who have hit the whole shebang.

Jackpot prizes are paid in 30 annual installments or as a one-time, lump-sum payment. Jackpot prizes must be claimed within 60 days after the draw to receive the cash option of an estimated $244.8 million. Winners have 180 days from the applicable drawing to claim their prize.

You can always get more info at FloridaLottery.com.