11/28/2012 08:40 am ET

Why The $500 Million Powerball Prize Has Never Been A Better Bet

The jackpot in the Nov. 28 Powerball lottery, a drawing across two-thirds of the United States, is up to a record $500 million. And while it’s never a good idea to buy a lottery ticket, if you insist, now may actually be the best time to go all-in on this investment. Let’s break down the odds.

Lottery players have long dreamed of making the perfect bet: buy every possible combination of numbers to guarantee yourself a jackpot and, if the pot is large enough, profit the difference. Powerball tickets cost $2 each, and you can play the numbers 175,223,510 different ways, so with a sizable but short-term loan, you ought to pocket about $150 million on this investment, right?

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