Local News

Big jackpot brings big dreams

Posted November 28, 2012

— What could you do with a half-billion dollars?

International travel, exotic cars, real estate and jewelry bling topped the list of people shopping for tickets around the Triangle Wednesday as the Powerball jackpot topped $550 million (that's $327 million before taxes if you take the cash option).

What they said

"I've never been out of the country, so that's what I would like to do," said Sonya Watson of Raleigh.

"I'm going to buy me a brand new Lamborghini, Maserati, go on vacation. I'm going to travel around the world," said Danny Bell of Rocky Mount.

How to spend it

Sonya Morales, a Maserati saleswoman, suggested a 2013 model for just $140,000. 

"It's completely loaded. It's got navigation, heated seats. It's got the 4.7 V8 engine. It's just completely put together. It's a hand-built car by Maserati," she said.

Clyde Bailey, owner and president of Bailey's Fine Jewelry, pitched what he called "a little starter kit" worth $405,000. 

What would you buy with $500 million? What would you buy with $500 million?

He noted that Powerball winners would probably meet lots of people and do lots of interviews.

"You want to be dripping in absolutely gorgeous jewelry," he said. "It would be a terrible embarrassment not to, to have that kind of money and not have this magnificent jewelry."

For winners who want to get away, a five-bedroom, nine-bath home on Lake Boone Trail in Raleigh is selling for $3 million. It comes with a full guest suite.

Where the winners are

Want to improve your chances of winning Wednesday’s record-breaking Powerball jackpot?

You may want to think about moving – quickly – to the Midwest. Since Powerball tickets first went on sale nearly a quarter century ago, 26 percent of the people who have claimed jackpots have lived in Indiana, Missouri or Minnesota, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association.

Indiana leads all states with 38 jackpot winners, while Missouri and Minnesota have 26 and 21, respectively. The Hoosier State and Show Me State have been selling Powerball tickets since 1988, and Minnesota joined the Powerball frenzy in 1990. lottery Lottery Q&A, big winners

North Carolina, which began selling Powerball tickets in 2006, has had three winners, the last of which came in 2010 when an Asheville man won $141 million.

Nearby states have also had long odds when it comes to securing Powerball winners, with Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina combining for 10 winners.

Aside from Indiana, Missouri and Minnesota, only seven states have double-digit jackpot winners. Seven states that sell the $2 tickets have never had a winner.

Wednesday’s jackpot, which could reach $550 million by the time sales end at 9:59 p.m., is the second-highest lottery jackpot in history, trailing only the $656 million Mega Millions prize in April. What would you buy with $500 million? What would you buy with $500 million?

North Carolina Lottery spokesman Van Denton said Tuesday that sales for the current jackpot have reached $28.1 million since the last winner on Oct. 6.

Denton said sales for the three days prior to last Saturday's drawing reached $5.2 million, which is the highest three-day take during the period.

The state sold $17.6 million in tickets on March 30, when the Mega Millions jackpot hit $656 million.

A single Powerball winner choosing the cash option would get more than $327 million before taxes.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • piene2 Nov 29, 2012

    "I don't gamble.
    Crew Dog"

    Every time you leave your house you gamble. The payoff is just a lot smaller.

  • 426X3 Nov 29, 2012

    I don't gamble.

  • piene2 Nov 29, 2012

    Well since I did not win, I canceled the booze, drugs and floozies.

  • whatelseisnew Nov 29, 2012

    "I've never been out of the country, so that's what I would like to do," said Sonya Watson of Raleigh."

    Join the Navy. You get free room and board and a paycheck.

  • dontstopnow Nov 29, 2012

    I didnt win so back to work for me. Been at it since 5am this morning. Taking a quick break. :)

  • foghat001 Nov 29, 2012

    If I won the lottery, I'd want to do something to help homeless/abused strawberries.


  • cruzinlong Nov 29, 2012

    the powerball is simply the luck of the draw.
    Scratch tickets maybe another story, sometimes I think they intentionally send those winning cards to certain areas.

  • Disabled Veteran Nov 29, 2012

    Never mind. I found the answer. If you take the annuity route. A single winner of $580 million will recieve about $15 million a year for 29 years. It sounds like the safest option in the long run!

  • Disabled Veteran Nov 29, 2012

    @cletus - no, if you take the cash option, it is a lesser amount than the jackpot. The full jackpot value is only if you go the annuity route.

    I wonder what the annuity amount is and if it's yearly or monthly?

  • STRAWBERRY LETTER 23 Nov 28, 2012

    If I won the lottery, I'd want to do something to help homeless/abused pets.