A record $579 million Powerball jackpot kept lotto machines busy printing tickets for eager participants wishing for a big payday Wednesday.
Last night, the potential Powerball winning ticket was drawn around 11 p.m. Meaning, a few people's dreams may have came true, but most likely there were many broken hearts. However, before the drawing, the atmosphere was all positive as the lotto kitty kept rising with every purchase.
Chris Ingerson purchased her possible winning ticket at Don's Car Wash, located at 184 E. Fairmount Ave., Lakewood. The rare lotto player said she couldn't resist the temptation to play when she heard the reward was so high.
Chris Ingerson buys a Powerball lottery ticket at Don’s Car Wash, located at 184 E. Fairmount Ave., Lakewood. The Powerball jackpot was a record $579 million Wednesday.
P-J photo by Dennis Phillips
''I really want to win. I would probably pass out if I did,'' she said. ''I thought to myself 'I'm not going to win unless I try.'''
The record Powerball pot drove Gary Carr to Don's for two reasons. One reason, millions and millions in riches. The second, lottery tickets are a quality birthday gift.
''It is a birthday present for my wife (Becky),'' he said. ''I just happened to hear it was this high, so that is why I'm here.''
Niki Mason, Don's Car Wash employee selling Powerball tickets, said the store was busy all day.
''They are going crazy,'' she said. ''Yeah, it just went up in the last hour to $550 million, so everyone is coming in. I've never seen it like this before.''
The previous Powerball record was $365 million, which was split among eight workers at a Nebraska meatpacking facility in 2006. The $550 million jackpot is a huge stack of money, but not the record for a U.S. lottery game. The Mega Millions pot was $656 million in March.
''Today is even worse than when Mega Millions was this high,'' Mason said. ''Everyone is like 'We will come back and take care of you if we win.'''
Lotto purchases were just as crazy at Robo Convenience Store, located at 111 Marion St., Jamestown. Sherry Furlow said she has experienced plenty of ticket buyers.
''They come in and they keep coming. It has been non-stop since 6 a.m. this morning,'' she said. ''Once it goes over $200 million, it picks up everytime.''
Wednesday's jackpot has grown to a record amount because no one has matched the winning numbers in 15 straight drawings. Powerball is played in 42 states, including New York, as well as the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
HOW TO PLAY POWERBALL
Every Wednesday and Saturday night at 10:59 p.m., five out of 59 white balls are drawn out of a drum and one red ball out of 35. Players win by matching one of the nine ways to win. The jackpot is won by matching all five white balls, in any order, and the red Powerball. The grand prize is either an annuity paid out during 29 years in 30 payments or a lump sum payment. Each ticket costs $2. The second prize is won by matching five white balls, in any order, worth $1,000,000.