CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois Lottery says Powerball tickets are selling at a "blistering" pace, and that's boosted the jackpot to $550 million.
Over a 30-minute period around the middle of the day Tuesday, the Illinois Lottery sold more than $200,000 in Powerball tickets across the state.
Lottery officials expected the pace of sales to increase even more as Wednesday night's drawing for the largest jackpot in Powerball history draws closer.
A $656 million Mega Millions jackpot set a world lottery record in March. That prize was split three ways. One of those winners was Merle Butler of Red Bud in southern Illinois. He took home nearly $119 million.
Today is Thursday, April 17, the 107th day of 2014. There are 258 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Journeymen shoemakers of Rock Island struck for higher wages yesterday morning, asking 25 percent increases. Employers have acceded to their demand. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Lighting struck wires of the Merchants Electric Light Co. during a furious storm, and many Rock Island business houses were compelled to resort to gas as a means of illumination. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Members of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, decided to erect a new edifice at a cost of about $60,000. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Willard Anderson, junior forward for the Augustana College basketball team, which won 17 out of 22 contests, was elected captain of the quintet. 1964 -- 50 years ago: John Hoffman, Moline, president of the Sac-Fox Council of Boy Scouts, will be honored for his 50 years in scouting by members of the council at a dinner Thursday evening. 1989 -- 25 years ago: The Quad-Cities has what is believed to be the area's first elite-class gymnast. It's the stuff upon which Olympic competitors are made. Tiffany Chapman, of Rock Island, not only has earned the highest possible gymnast ranking, she won the honor at age 11.