Local News

Powerball sales spike ahead of $222M jackpot

Posted May 27, 2009 5:35 p.m. EDT
Updated May 27, 2009 6:44 p.m. EDT

— State lottery officials said Wednesday that North Carolina is averaging around $4,000 in ticket sales per minute in advance of Wednesday's night $222 million Powerball lottery.

Powerball sales have spiked at Warren Liles' convenience store on Poole Road in Raleigh, where customers bought tickets throughout the day.

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Statewide, ticket sales were at 1.3 million Wednesday afternoon, and officials expected that number to grow throughout the evening. Saturday saw $2 million worth of Powerball ticket sales.

Although the odds of winning the jackpot are one in 195 million – a person's chances of being struck by lightning or becoming president of the United States are better – those dreaming of winning big said it's worth spending the extra money, even in a tough economy.

"I heard the jackpot's pretty high, and I figured, you know, who can win if you're not in," said Pam Rawlings.

Thomas Lavelle said he bought 150 Powerball tickets – a small down payment on the jackpot dream.

"I've been lucky before in the scratch-offs, so, you never know," Lavelle said.

The Powerball drawing airs at 11 p.m. on WRAL-TV.