(Reuters) - The multi-state Powerball jackpot grew to $478 million, the fifth largest in the game's history and the eighth-biggest lottery prize ever in the United States, before an 11 p.m. EDT drawing on Saturday, officials said.

It will be the 24th drawing since a ticket won the jackpot, matching all six numbers, on May 7, Powerball officials said in a statement.

The Powerball game is based on lottery tickets sold for $2 apiece. It is played in 44 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

If a single ticket wins, it will be worth the winner's choice of $478 million spread over 30 years or $330.6 million in a lump-sum payment, before federal taxes.

Wednesday's draw came about two and a half months after a $429.6 million winning Powerball ticket was sold in New Jersey, and two weeks after a $540 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot was clinched in Indiana.

The largest lottery prize offered in North America was a Powerball jackpot worth nearly $1.6 billion for winning tickets sold in California, Tennessee and Florida in January.

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee, editing by Larry King)