Whether it be a tropical vacation, a brand new house, paying off your debt, or maybe a new car (or two) – all of these possibilities could become actual realities for the winner of the Powerball drawing, which currently has a jackpot of over $500 million, making it the fourth largest total ever in history. 

This is the biggest that the lottery prize has been in almost a year, but before any of you go putting a down payment on that spiffy sports car, you might care to know that according to statistics, each ticket holder basically has a 1 in 292,201,338 shot of winning the grand prize. If you think that's tough...well, you're pretty much right, as you actually have a better chance of getting struck by lightening, being hit by an asteroid, and also suffering from a shark bite than you do at winning this particular jackpot. The lucky winner would receive a cash option of $306 million, and that's before taxes are deducted. The $500 million prize would be paid out over the span of 29 years.

The jackpot has built up to such a high amount as a result of 18 consecutive draws without a winner. The next drawing will be taking place at 8:59 p.m. MST on January 6. If no one happens to win the big bucks tonight, the next drawing will happen on Saturday, January 9, and it is estimated that by that date, the prize pool will be somewhere around $675 million, which would be the highest amount it's ever been.

So, do you have your ticket yet?