Players hope to win Powerball $325 million jackpot
By Wes Wade | (email@example.com)
With the Powerball jackpot now up to $325 million, the hopes of taking home the grand prize has driven people who don’t usually play to purchase tickets.
Between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Saturday, the E-Z Stop Exxon on Alcoa Highway had sold more than $430 worth of Powerball tickets and it seemed as if one out of every three our four customers were purchasing tickets.
Tammy Palmer, a sales associate at the store, said many people won’t buy a ticket until the jackpot moves above $300 million. “The last time it was over $300 (million) we did $1,200 in sales in an eight-hour period,” Palmer said.
Alcoa resident David Hill said he doesn’t typically play, but when he saw the $325 million he might when, decided to go for it.
“(I) saw the jackpot and just stopped to get a cold beverage and play for a change,” Hill said. “Take one (ticket) home to the wife, she’s very lucky.”
Hill said that he plays only occasionally, when the jackpot is high.
“It’s more fun when it’s high,” he said.
Jimmy McNair, a Memphis resident who happened to be in town, also stopped by the store to pick up five tickets. McNair said he usually plays, but typically only buys one ticket. Since the jackpot is so large, he decided to pick up several more to better his chances of hitting the jackpot, he said.
Rockford Resident Debbie Harper said she buys a ticket when the jackpot is more than $100 million. She said it averages out to about twice a year. Harper bought one ticket Saturday afternoon for her own chance to take home the jackpot.
“It’s do or die for one (ticket),” Harper said.
Yet not everyone was getting in on the action. When asked by an Exxon clerk if she’d like to buy a ticket, one customer declined, citing the fact that she’s never a winner.
Over at the Marathon on Alcoa Highway, the story was much the same. Employees said they had sold many more Powerball tickets than those for Mega Millions, which has a much lower jackpot of $49 million. Employee Melissa Lee says they see a lot more sales with the higher jackpots.
“I think everybody tries to buy a ticket when the prize is up,” Lee said. Lee herself even purchased a ticket at another convenience store in town, as lottery rules bar individuals from purchasing tickets at their places of employement.
“I decided if I blew $2 on cigarettes I may as well blow $2 on the Powerball,” Lee said.