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Residents Of Storm-Ravaged Little Ferry, N.J., Hope For Luck With Powerball

The Way They See It, If There's Justice In The World, Someone Will Hit Jackpot
A customer purchases Powerball lottery tickets at a convenience store on November 26, 2012. (Photo credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

A customer purchases Powerball lottery tickets at a convenience store on November 26, 2012. (Photo credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

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Superstorm Sandy

LITTLE FERRY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – In a town torn apart by Superstorm Sandy, residents Tuesday night were dreaming big and hoping for a break.

They know better than anyone what $500 million could mean.

“We had no Thanksgiving and now no Christmas,” said Diane Ruff of Little Ferry – unless the off-chance that her family wins the lottery materializes.

Ruff was among the many purchasing their Powerball tickets in Little Ferry on Tuesday night, CBS 2′s Jessica Schneider reported. Winning numbers would help rebuild her home that stood for five generations, but was destroyed by the flood waters that rushed through her doors the night Sandy struck.

“I have no walls, no rugs, no nothing. No furniture,” Ruff said. “I’ve been sitting on Home Depot chairs.”

Phil Dittmar said help from charities and government agencies has not been sufficient.

“I know neighbors who have lost a lot and who are depending on the generosity of FEMA and the Red Cross, but it doesn’t look like there’s enough,” he said.

For that reason, Dittmar purchased five more tickets than usual, with big plans if he hits the jackpot.

“I want to take care of the people in Little Ferry. I would make a donation of at least 25 percent of my winnings to the town,” he said.

One Little Ferry Quick Mart has already proven to be lucky. On Thanksgiving, it sold a $10,000 winning scratch off ticket.

“Especially with all the mess we went through with Sandy, it was a great feeling,” said the winner, Ronnie Rodriguez.

Rodriguez said she has decided to give all the cash to her daughter, whose car was demolished by the flood waters.

“She’s going to pay off her $3,000 and put another down payment for another car,” Rodriguez said.

Lotto sales at the Quick Mart were up 15 percent in the past few weeks, and spirits were high in anticipation of Wednesday night’s big drawing.

“I think this town needs a good win — somebody from this town,” said Quick Mart owner Ravi Gupta.

Have you bought your Powerball tickets? Leave your comments below…