US & World

California fuels Powerball $550 million jackpot

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The Powerball jackpot is surging to potentially record-breaking levels thanks to the Golden and Silver states.

California has sold $83 million worth of Powerball tickets since it started selling them in April and overall has accounted for 11 percent of the game's sales in the country. Nevadans can't buy tickets in their state, where the lottery is seen as competition to its casino industry. But they have been flocking to the tiny town of Nipton on the California border. The town's Primm Valley Lotto store is the biggest ticket seller.

The jackpot hit $550 million Thursday. It has leapt nearly $200 million since Wednesday's drawing, which was an estimated $360 million. The $550 million jackpot is the second largest in Powerball history and third biggest overall.

Officials expect the jackpot to keep growing before Saturday's drawing that could break Powerball's November 2012 record of $587.5 million.