Spring equinox, Mariners-Athletics, Powerball $550M jackpot: 5 things to know Wednesday

Editors

It's spring! And there's a supermoon and ice cream

Wednesday is the official first day of spring, and there's an astronomical doubleheader to mark the glorious event. The spring equinox, the precise moment the sun's rays shine directly on the equator, arrives at 5:58 p.m. EDT. (The spring equinox is one of two days in the year – the other being the autumnal equinox in September – when there is roughly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness almost everywhere on Earth.) At 9:43 p.m. EDT comes the final "supermoon" of the year, when the moon is a few thousand miles closer to Earth than usual. Down here on Earth, Dairy Queen is celebrating spring by giving away small vanilla soft-serve cones.

What is Andrew Gillum's 'major announcement'?

Former Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum is set to make a "major announcement" Wednesday. Gillum, who lost to Republican Ron DeSantis in the November election, earlier this month posted a video to Twitter that included clips from his gubernatorial campaign and ending with the campaign's rallying cry of "Bring it Home." The video was paid for by Gillum’s statewide political action committee. Since then, his name has been circulated as a possible candidate in the crowded Democratic presidential field.

Man who killed family and held classmates hostage now up for parole

Twenty-five years ago, Clay Shrout was a talented but troubled 17-year-old in Boone County, Kentucky. On May 25, 1994, Shrout shot and killed his parents and two sisters at their home, then went to his high school and took over a classroom. For 17 minutes, he held students hostage until eventually giving up his gun. Having served 25 years of a life sentence, Shrout, now 42, is scheduled to go before his parole board for the first time on Wednesday. While no shots were fired and no students injured, the incident has sometimes been described as a foreshadowing of the Columbine school shooting five years later.

Get your tickets ready! Powerball jackpot climbs to $550M

March Madness isn't the only game causing a frenzy this month. Wednesday's Powerball jackpot drawing is now worth an estimated $550 million. According to lottery officials, it’s the eighth largest Powerball prize in history. The winner can choose to receive the prize in annuity payments or take the lump sum option, which is $335 million before taxes. Thinking about what to do if you strike it big? You may not want to quit your day job — the likelihood of winning the jackpot is 1 in 292,201,338.Good luck. 

MLB's opening day, international edition

It's opening day for U.S. Major League Baseball . . . in Japan? Yes: The Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics square off Wednesday in Tokyo for the first regular-season game of the MLB season. Mariners legend and Japan native Ichiro Suzuki, 45, will be in the starting lineup for the Mariners as he begins his 19th year in the majors. You'll have to get up early to catch it: The evening start time at the Tokyo Dome means ESPN's broadcast of the game begins at 5:35 a.m. ET. Fans looking forward to the league's opening day in the United States have to wait until March 28.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Spring equinox, Mariners-Athletics, Powerball $550M jackpot: 5 things to know Wednesday