Local News

Powerball Frenzy Knocks Out Computers

Posted July 28, 1998

— The lure of $250 million has would-be millionaires flocking to buy Powerball tickets. Wednesday night's record Powerball drawing has turned into a full-fledged frenzy.

At one store in Connecticut, people started lining up at 2 a.m. for tickets. It didn't help when the Powerball computer went down for several hours.

Washington, D.C. is one of the closest spots to North Carolina where tickets are for sale. The miles between here and there aren't stopping people from chasing after the jackpot.

The odds of winning are 1-in-80 million, but many people think theirs is the ticket that will win the Powerball payoff. Multi-millionaire 'wannabes' are lining up in 20 states and the District of Columbia, and they don't seem to mind the wait. In some places it can take over an hour to get from the end of the line to the front.

Leigh Resnick of Wilmington, NC says she was buying tickets for several friends.

"We're flying back through D.C. and everybody said 'Go buy us Powerball tickets,'" said Resnick. "I think it would make them all very happy. I mean, goodness gracious, it's so much money! Think about all the good you could do with it."

Inside a D.C. pharmacy, the manager had to hire extra help just to keep up with the demand for tickets.

"We have a security guard here, too," said store manager Hement Vyas. "I bought one ticket for me, too. Just one ticket."

Just one ticket is all it could take.

The winner can choose a lump sum payment which amounts to $83 million after taxes, or yearly payments of $10 million over 25 years. By the way the Illinois couple that won the last big drawing is trying their luck again.


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