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Powerball jackpot rises to $550 million

Posted at 1:10 PM, Mar 18, 2019

Fantasies of buying 423 castles or 2,143 Ferraris could become reality this week now that the Powerball jackpot has topped half a billion dollars.

Wednesday's estimated jackpot, $550 million, is the eighth largest in Powerball history. (If you're impatient and want all your millions at once, the lump-sum cash value option is $335 million.)

Your chances of winning? 1 in 292,201,338 . We know those odds won't deter you. But just in case you want a reality check, you're far more likely to ...

... have quintuplets naturally

If you're expecting a newborn, your odds of naturally having five kids instead of one is 1 in 55,000,000 . That's five times more likely than winning the jackpot. That's a lot of babies.

... get murdered while at the Grand Canyon

You have a 1 in 8,156,000 chance of getting murdered while on a trip to the Grand Canyon. It's actually 35 times more likely than hitting the jackpot. So watch your back.

... have extra fingers or toes

The chances of having polydactyly -- or extra fingers or toes -- ranges from 1 in 500 to 1 in 1,000 . That's more than 292,200 times greater than winning the big prize.

... get killed by fireworks

You have a 1 in 340,733 chance of getting killed by fireworks. So if you use pyrotechnics to celebrate winning the lottery, please know that your odds of dying from those fireworks are 857 times greater than hitting the jackpot you just won.

The good news: Someone has to win eventually

Case in point: The South Carolina woman who won a whopping $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot .

The winner, who chose to stay anonymous, said a simple act of kindness led to her massive windfall last October. The woman let a fellow customer at a convenience store jump ahead of her in line before she purchased a her lottery ticket, using computer-generated numbers.

Now she's helping others again -- this time with a much heftier bank account.

"I do realize that such good fortune carries a tremendous social responsibility, and it gives me a unique opportunity to assist, support and contribute to charities and causes that are close to my heart," the winner said in a statement through her lawyer.

Part of her donations are going to the Alabama Red Cross to help those devastated by recent tornadoes that killed 23 people .

She's also donating to the Ronald McDonald House of Charities of Columbia, South Carolina; In The Middle, a charity that helps women with breast cancer; the City of Simpsonville Art Center; and the One SC Fund for Hurricane Florence relief.