Omar Villafranca, NBC 5 News
North Texans were among those who helped Wednesday's Powerball drawing break the world record for hourly sales per minute.
Brisk ticket sales helped the biggest Powerball jackpot in history continue to grow.
The Powerball numbers are: 5 - 16 - 22 - 23 - 29, and the Powerball is 6.
Wednesday's jackpot was raised Wednesday morning to an estimated $550 million with a cash value option of $360.2 million.
The estimated jackpot is expected to be the second-largest lottery jackpot in the world. The numbers are an estimate and could go up again before the drawing.
Lottery players had until just before 9 p.m. to purchase tickets, and Powerball officials say they now believe there is a 75 percent chance a winning combination of numbers will be drawn Wednesday night.
In Texas, cumulative Powerball draw sales for Wednesday through the 8 p.m. hour are $27,542,598. That's 1,344 percent more than sales last Wednesday at the same time.
In three measured regional areas of Dallas and Fort Worth, more than 3 million tickets were sold by noon on Wednesday. Sales in the Houston area were above 3 million as well.
"Texas has had numerous Powerball second-tier winners of $1 million and $2 million, but we have never had a Powerball jackpot winner," said Gary Grief, executive director of the Texas Lottery. "Since everything is bigger in Texas, we hope that it will be a Texan that will win this enormous jackpot."
This jackpot started as a $40 million prize on Oct. 6 and is the result of 15 draws without a jackpot winner.
If no one wins on Wednesday, it could become the largest jackpot in world history, eclipsing the March 2012 Mega Millions jackpot of $656 million.
Cathie Singer always plays the lottery, but when the jackpot reached half a billion dollars, the Watauga resident said her family started calling her to buy tickets for them.
“My brother-in-law was a firefighter, so he picked all the stations that he was at in California; he's retired now,” she said.
The method of how players decide on which numbers to pick varies.
“ I'm the youngest of 12, so I pick 12. I use birthdays -- my son’s, my husband’s birthdays,” Singer said.
“It was birthdays. I did birthdays on this one, and then I did all the kids ages on another one,” said Cigi Wilson, of Fort Worth.
But what would you do with $500 million? Most people NBC 5 spoke to talked about buying homes, paying off loans, financing education and giving to charity.
Some of the more extravagant ideas in our newsroom suggested getting a private concert from Elton John for $2 million, buying Munch's famed painting "The Scream" for $120 million, snagging the Hope Diamond for $200 million or even putting in to be the new owner of the Dallas Mavericks, who were valued by Forbes Magazine at $497 million in January.
NBC 5's Omar Villafranca contributed to this report.