UNION, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — It’s a power play for more than half a billion dollars.
The Powerball jackpot is now at a record $600 million and growing. And all throughout the day Friday, hopefuls lined up for a dance with lady luck, CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported.
“Hey, buddy … Don’t you knock it … Who knows what will be … Just maybe … I am going to hit that lottery tonight, folks,” Steve Willoughby sang as he got his tickets.
Like many others, Willoughby crammed into a Union store, convinced he’s going to win.
“I am going to take a shot … After I win all this money I’m going to build my own city so I can have my whole family around; My grandchildren, I got 10,” Willoughby said.
The Powerball jackpot climbed up to a whopping $600 million Friday, and it had many people forking over big bills.
It’s obvious why they’re buying tickets. For those opting for one-time cash out payment from Saturday’s drawing, you’re talking about $376.9 million.
But Sloan asked the regulars in the store to tell her why they were playing. They really didn’t seem to care that experts said the odds of winning are 1 in 175 million.
“I need the money,” one person said.
“Because I want to be rich so I can join the millionaires’ club and buy my own island,” added Sam Idlett of Union.
“I’d like to win money for my grandchildren to go to college and have some in the bank,” Lucy Giacalone added.
The Mega Millions jackpot has also jumped, to $190 million. The winning numbers, drawn Friday night, were: 11-15-35-43-49, Mega Ball: 41
The Powerball jackpot has been growing after none of the tickets sold matched all the winning numbers in Wednesday night’s drawing. The winning numbers drawn Wednesday night: 2, 11, 26, 34, 41 and a Powerball of 32.
The new jackpot now ranks as the largest in Powerball history and the second biggest overall. The top prize of all time was $656 million from a Mega Millions jackpot on March 30, 2012. Three tickets from Kansas, Illinois and Maryland split the prize.
The last major jackpot win came when a New Jersey man won a $338.3 million Powerball jackpot March 23.
More than half of the all-time jackpot records have been reached in the last three years.
Lottery officials expect jackpots to continue growing faster and bigger, thanks in part to a game redesign in January 2012 that increased the odds of winning some kind of prize of a lesser amount. On Wednesday, $1 million prizes were won in 16 states, including New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
There was also “cross-selling” of Powerball and Mega Millions tickets – states being able to sell both Powerball tickets and Mega Millions tickets – that began in January 2010.
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