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Record jackpot inspires big lines, big dreams

Posted January 10

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— With the Powerball jackpot over a billion dollars – yes, that's billion with a B – even those who sell the lottery tickets are dreaming big.

At the EZ Way on New Bern Avenue in Raleigh, clerk Phillip Koech admitted he'd spent $30 on tickets before Saturday's drawing.

When no one hit Saturday's winning numbers – 16-19-32-34-57 and Powerball number of 13 – the jackpot rolled over again, to the largest ever, worldwide.

"You never know man. You gotta try it," Koech said. "If you want to win it, you gotta be in it to win it."

Tim Dorsey bought eight of the $2 tickets last week and said he's keep playing, despite the long odds.

"I’ll keep playing until somebody hits it," he said. "And hopefully I’ll hit it!"

Dorsey found it hard to comprehend the possibilities.

"That’s a lot of money, man," he said Sunday after the jackpot rose to an estimated $1.3 billion. He admitted he would be hard pressed to spend it all.

“I’d probably give most of it away," he said. "I don’t need all of that money. I just need enough to send my kids to college.”

Twenty-eight tickets paid off at $1 million or more on Saturday, but no one matched all five numbers plus the Powerball for the big score.

John Burton, who said he doesn't usually play the lottery, made an exception Sunday.

"It’s too high not to play,” he said, "but the chances of winning are like zip. That’s why I just bought two tickets.”

Tyler Brackfield said the big billion was his threshold to take a chance as well. "It’s so much money, you know," he said.

Brackfield was using the birthdates of friends and family in hopes of getting lucky.

At an Exxon station on Six Forks Road, Teri Morris was trying to get on top of those long odds. She spent $70 on tickets, and said she'd share any winnings with her church.

"I’m the deacon at the church, and I’m gambling," she said, "but they'd say, 'Go for it, Teri!'"

Back at the EZ Way, Koech said as the jackpot climbs, he gets busier and busier.

"What was it like in here? Oh my goodness, slammed! Busy, real busy. It’s the most lottery sales we ever had,” he said.


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  • Catherine Edwards Jan 11, 2016
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    The birthdays thing is not likely to win. No picks beyond 31. There's still 32-69 to consider. Maybe throw in age to cover the gap.

  • Roy Hinkley Jan 11, 2016
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    That's not how the game is designed and you cannot change the rules just because the main prize is so large now.

  • William Patterson Jan 10, 2016
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    this is just absurd ...few people have the intelligence to manage this kind of wealth far better to have many millionaires than one billionaire...let many people enjoy a windfall instead of a single person