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Hoosier Lottery hands out 500 free Powerball tickets, jackpot now up to $550 million

Michael Henrich

8:26 AM CST, November 28, 2012

Indianapolis

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12:44 p.m. - Powerball officials say the jackpot for Wednesday night's drawing is now $550 million.

Earlier: The Hoosier Lottery wrapped itself up in jackpot mania by handing out 500 free Powerball tickets Wednesday morning.

Indiana's lottery handed out the free tickets to draw attention to Wednesday night's $500 million jackpot, a record for the multi-state lottery.

The only larger jackpot in U.S. history was the $365 million MegaMillions prize in March of this year.

Starting at 6 a.m., Hoosier Lottery officials and the Powerball mascot handed out the free tickets at the Village Pantry on Michigan Road in Zionsville.  Customers came in and out for roughly 90 minutes before officials ran out.

Since the start of Powerball in 1992, Hoosier Lottery said Indiana has sold the most winning jackpot tickets at 38. 

Tickets cost $2 each to play and must be purchased by 9:58 p.m.  The drawing takes place around 11 p.m. ET.