This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

(WGHP) — North Carolinians can now play for a Powerball jackpot of half a billion dollars in the New Year’s Day drawing on Saturday, according to an NC Education Lottery news release.

The estimated Powerball jackpot jumped $17 million, from $483 million to $500 million, on Thursday due to increased sales this week as people across the nation bought tickets for the drawing. A winner could choose the $500 million annuity or take home $355.9 million in cash.

“This size of a jackpot makes New Year’s Day 2022 quite exciting,” said Mark Michalko, executive director of the NC Education Lottery. “That excitement leads to more sales and more sales leads to more money that the lottery will raise this year for education. As you join the fun, play smart and remember it only takes one ticket to win.”

The Powerball jackpot has been rolling since the Oct. 4 drawing when a ticket sold in California won a $699.8 million jackpot, the 5th largest in the game’s history.

Powerball drawings now are held every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday and the odds of winning a jackpot are 1 in 292 million. The last time Powerball had a drawing on New Year’s Day was in 2020.