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 Friday, Aug. 22, the 234th day of 2014. There are 131 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: The ferry boat, Rock Island, having been put in good order at the boat yard is now making her regular trips, much to the gratification of those who have to cross the river. 1889 -- 125 years ago: W.J. Gamble, for many years superintendent of the Moline & Rock Island railway, leased the Fourth Avenue Hotel and renovated and refurnished it throughout. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Pending the building of new public schools or additions to the present ones to provide adequate room for all the children, the board of education decided that pupils younger than 6 years old would not be accepted in Rock Island schools. 1939 -- 75 years ago: The fifth annual New Windsor Fair and Horse show, which has been delayed for two days because of unfavorable weather, got off to a new start last night. The parade was held this morning. 1964 -- 50 years ago: The Rock Island County Fair and Rodeo will celebrate its silver anniversary this year. The fair opens Tuesday and will run through Saturday and offers entertainment and activity for young and old. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Earl Hanson School, Rock Island, joins the Program to Assist Latch Key Student, which aids working parents. PALS is a before and after school program for grades 1-6 in certain Rock Island public and private schools.