By Tim Jimenez

By Tim Jimenez and Justin Finch

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Approximately half a billion dollars is up for grabs Wednesday night in the Powerball drawing.

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It is the fifth largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history.

The Powerball jackpot stands at $500 million dollars. Lottery officials say booming sales meant raising the big prize from $450 million dollars Tuesday. By Wednesday, the jackpot was increased to $500 million.

Pennsylvania lottery officials say tickets were selling at a rate of about 2,300 tickets per minute Tuesday.

No one has matched up the five numbers and the red Powerball in more than two months, but there’s time to get tickets: 9:59 tonight is the deadline for the 11 p.m. drawing.

High School teacher Bobby Keller planned to use a portion of his potential winnings to help out his students, even though he was not so sure he would be a winner.

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“That’s life,” Keller said. “You’ve got to try, right?”

Keller, like many players, chose a few of his own numbers and a few Quick Pick options at the 7-11 on Kings Highway North in Cherry Hill. For previous drawings, cashiers said they have seen customers spend big bucks.

“When the lottery went up to about $300 million dollars, we had a guy spend almost $500 on tickets,” recalled Tae Pai.

About six years ago, Pai said his store sold a customer a Pick Six ticket worth more than $7 million. Tara Gerkins said she dreams of being next, and was already practicing what she would tell her boss.

“I would tell her I like her, but I’ve got to go.”

The cash value: $337.8 million bucks. Not bad at all. But a reminder from lottery officials, your chance of taking all of that money home is 1 in 175 million.

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Good luck!