Last-minute fortune seekers buy Powerball tickets - WNCN: News, Weather

Last-minute fortune seekers buy Powerball tickets

Posted: Updated:

It's all about the odds.
    
With the majority of possible combinations of Powerball numbers in play, someone is almost sure to win the game's highest jackpot during Saturday night's drawing, a windfall of hundreds of millions of dollars - and that's after taxes.
    
The problem, of course, is those same odds just about guarantee the lucky person won't be you.
    
The chances of winning the estimated $600 million prize remain astronomically high: 1 in 175.2 million. That's how many different ways you can combine the numbers when you play. But lottery officials estimate about 80 percent of those possible combinations have been purchased, so now's the time to buy.
    
"This would be the roll to get in on," said Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich. "Of course there's no guarantee, and that's the randomness of it, and the fun of it."
    
That hasn't deterred people across Powerball-playing states - 43 plus Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands - from lining up at gas stations and convenience stores Saturday for their chance at striking it filthy rich.
    
At a mini market in the heart of Los Angeles' Chinatown, employees broke the steady stream of customers into two lines: One for Powerball ticket buyers and one for everybody else. Some people appeared to be looking for a little karma.
    
"We've had two winners over $10 million here over the years, so people in the neighborhood think this is the lucky store," employee Gordon Chan said as he replenished a stack of lottery tickets on a counter.
    
Workers at one suburban Columbia, S.C., convenience store were so busy with ticket buyers that they hadn't updated their sign with the current jackpot figure, which was released Friday. Customer Armous Peterson was reluctant to share his system for playing the Powerball. The 56-year-old was well aware of the long odds, but he also knows the mantra of just about every person buying tickets.
    
"Somebody is going to win," he said. "Lots of people are going to lose, too. But if you buy a ticket, that winner might be you."
    
The latest jackpot is the world's second largest overall, just behind a $656 million Mega Millions jackpot in March 2012. The $600 million jackpot, which could grow before the numbers are drawn at 10:59 EDT Saturday, currently includes a $376.9 million cash option.
    
Charles Hill of Dallas says he buys lottery tickets every day. And he knows exactly what he'd do if he wins.
    
"What would I do with my money? I'd run and hide," he said. "I wouldn't want none of my kinfolks to find me."
    
Clyde Barrow, a public policy professor at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, specializes in the gaming industry. He said one of the key factors behind the ticket-buying frenzy is the size of the jackpot - people are interested in the easy investment.
    
"Even though the odds are very low, the investment is very small," he said. "Two dollars gets you a chance."
    
That may be why Ed McCuen has a Powerball habit that's as regular as clockwork. The 57-year-old electrical contractor from Savannah, Ga., buys one ticket a week, regardless of the possible loot. It's a habit he didn't alter Saturday.
    
"You've got one shot in a gazillion or whatever," McCuen said, tucking his ticket in his pocket as he left a local convenience store. "You can't win unless you buy a ticket. But whether you buy one or 10 or 20, it's insignificant."
    
Seema Sharma doesn't seem to think so. The newsstand employee in Manhattan's Penn Station has purchased $80 worth of tickets for herself. She also was selling tickets all morning at a steady pace, instructing buyers where to stand if they wanted machine-picked tickets or to choose their own numbers.
    
"I work very hard - too hard - and I want to get the money so I can finally relax," she said. "You never know."
    
Officials will conduct the drawing live Saturday night from Tallahassee, Fla.
    
___
    
Associated Press Writers Jeffrey Collins in Columbia, S.C., Betsy Blaney in Lubbock, Texas, Russ Bynum in Savannah, Ga., John Rogers in Los Angeles and Verena Dobnick in New York contributed to this report.
    
___

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 77-year-old questioned, defended as true Marine after NFL player takes his photo

    77-year-old questioned, defended as true Marine after NFL player takes his photo

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:58 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:58:35 GMT
    (WMC) - It was a story that made its rounds on social media. On a recent flight DeAngelo Williams, Mid-Southerner and running back for the Carolina Panthers, gave his first-class plane seat to a 77-year-old
    Family members are upset and hurt that their relative, James Wesley Bolden, is being called a liar and "a fake."
  • Durham police release video of 3 teens who left homemade bomb on bus

    Durham police release video of 3 teens who left homemade bomb on bus

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 8:03 PM EDT2014-07-24 00:03:17 GMT
    Police tape surrounds a Bull City Connector bus after a homemade chemical bomb exploded on board.Police tape surrounds a Bull City Connector bus after a homemade chemical bomb exploded on board.
    Durham police said Wednesday that three teens getting off a Bull City Connector bus left a drink bottle that exploded around 9:35 p.m. Tuesday.
    Durham police said Wednesday that three teens getting off a Bull City Connector bus left a drink bottle that exploded around 9:35 p.m. Tuesday.
  • Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Thursday, July 10 2014 8:01 PM EDT2014-07-11 00:01:10 GMT
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
Powered by WorldNow

1205 Front St., Raleigh
N.C., 27609

Telephone: 919.836.1717
Fax: 919.836.1687
Email: newstips@wncn.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.