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Posted at 12:05 PM ET, 11/26/2012

Powerball jackpot: Tips for buying lottery tickets with a group

Powerball’s $425 million jackpot is the largest in the game’s history and people across the country are dreaming of a big win this Wednesday.

Wednesday’s Powerball jackpot is $425 million. (Erik S. Lesser - EPA)

The odds are 175 million to one that someone will hit the multi-state jackpot, which amounts to $278.3 million in cash before taxes.

In an attempt to better their chances, many people are teaming up to buy tickets as a group.

According to Virginia State Lottery officials, group purchases with friends, family, co-workers or others shouldn’t be a problem — as long as everyone is on the same page from the start.

“Basically, our advice would be this: have an agreement in place, signed by all of your members, that details how you will split any wins,” according to officials. “You could even have the agreement notarized if you choose.”

Here are some more tips to keep your lottery pool running smoothly:

A customer fills out a Powerball form. (Orlin Wagner - AP)
1. Agree upon the rules. Decide on a buy-in amount and how the winnings would be split (equally or proportional to amount of money played, annual payout vs. cash option, etc.). Oral agreements are okay, but putting it in writing is a safer bet, according to officials.

2. Designate a “pool manager” who is responsible for purchasing the tickets and keeping them safe.

3. Make photocopies of the purchased tickets for each member of the group.

4. Decide if the pool manager would claim the winning ticket or if the entire group wants to claim it. All winners do not need to be present as long as required proof of identification is provided for each person.

Tell us: Are you playing for the Powerball jackpot by yourself? With a group? Not at all? Tell us in the comments below.

By  |  12:05 PM ET, 11/26/2012

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