NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Do you want to be a billionaire? The numbers have been drawn, and hopeful buyers were checking their tickets late Wednesday.
The winning numbers are: 4, 8, 19, 27, 34, Powerball 10.
The record-crushing Powerball jackpot stood at $1.5864 billion late Wednesday, and stores saw brisk sales as the clock ticked down before the drawing.
Around 11:15 p.m., the California Lottery reported that it had a Powerball winner in Chino Hills. There may still be more winners.
The biggest winners may have been the lottery retailers.
“It’s like almost 2,000 tickets a day since yesterday,” Jay, who manages a convenience store on the Upper East Side, told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond. “It has been busy and I’m hoping closer to the drawing it could be more. It could be like 5,000 or 6,000.”
And at the Willowbrook Deli on Staten Island, there was a $165 million winning ticket sold just last week for the Mega Millions drawing. That newly-minted millionaire still has not come forward, but it has been boding well for business.
“A lot of people going crazy at it, so you know — we have seen people buying $1,200 dollars worth. One customer today bought $1,200 in just Powerball,” said cashier Navi Kang. “They think they can hit it again; we can hit it again, and I hope we do too, because if the customer wins, we win too.”
New Yorkers Felt Lucky With Big Billion Powerball Jackpot
The odds of matching all six numbers to win the jackpot were long — one in 292 million — but that hardly stopped people from taking a chance.
As CBS2’s Jessica Schneider reported, well-wishes abounded as people flocked to stores to purchase their last-minute tickets. Some spent hundreds of dollars in hopes of even a piece of the jackpot.
Elliot Steinberg of Fort Lee and his wife had already purchased several Powerball tickets as of Wednesday night. But after their Chinese fortune cookie inspired them with some lucky numbers, they stopped into an already-lucky store on Cedar Avenue in Teaneck to buy a few more.
“We’ve already figured $5 million for each one of our grandchildren – there’s eight,” Steinberg said.
Rocklin’s Stationery in Teaneck sold a $40 million winning ticket last March, and the crowds hoped the store would do it again.
“Because of the $40 million… of course, I hope I hit,” said Steven Daurio of Teaneck.
But more than anything, Powerball sales seemed to bring strangers into solidarity.
“Just; ‘Isn’t it exciting. Can you imagine it? It’s so much! Imagine, they don’t even have an extra number to put out in the display!” said Pat Breglio of Westerly, Staten Island.
Betty DePeppo bought a Powerball ticket for the first time Wednesday night.
“I couldn’t resist, I just like, I have to win!” she said.
And the strategies abounded. Some did quick-pick, others played lucky numbers, and some even tried their luck all over town.
“I just feel lucky, you know?” said Beata Wojcik. “I got my son in the car. We’re going place to place just to play one quick-pick.”
Others could not understand why not everyone would participate.
“You have to be in it. You have to be. How could you not?” a nanny from Queens said.
“I have a $4 ticket, and I think you gotta be in it to win it or something, so I’m going to try it,” said one man, who bought his ticket at the busy 7-Eleven across the street from the Merillon Avenue train station in Garden City.
“What are you going to do if you win?” CBS2’s Andrea Grymes asked.
“That’s for my wife to decide,” he answered.
“I bought five Powerball tickets and hopefully I’ll be the lucky winner,” Peggy Marenghi of Seaford told Grymes.
1010 WINS reporter John Montone hit the streets Wednesday morning to give out free Powerball tickets.
“That’s beautiful, now I’m feeling lucky,” Din who runs a coffee cart on Hudson and Houston streets said. “I hope you have the winning numbers, John. Let’s hope this is the one.”
“I’m feeling super lucky,” said Alyssa, who was out for her morning run in the Village. “I’m going to count all my lucky stars and if I win I’m quitting my job.”
“I’m very excited, thank you very much and I hope these are the winning numbers,” a Con Ed crew member in Midtown said. “Powerball to the people!”
“What do I do for a living? I work. I bust my ass,” Jim, an iron worker, told Montone. “Give me the winner!”
The sky’s the limit for whoever does win the massive jackpot.
“Who knows, maybe we’ll wind up going to Rome, or Paris, Beverly Hills, who knows? Or maybe Greece, or maybe Turkey, Arabia,” one man said.
“Student loans, paying off bills, doing that and then having a few well earned toys,” another man said.
To keep the excitement going, the New York Lottery had several drummers taking turns keeping the drumroll going outside a store on Third Avenue and 44th Street until the drawing happened at 11 p.m.
New Jersey Residents Line Up For Jackpot
Meanwhile over in New Jersey, folks lined up to buy tickets from one lucky pharmacy, the Little Silver Family Pharmacy, where a $70 million winning Powerball ticket was once sold, CBS2’s Christine Sloan reported.
“In March of 2012, a gentleman from town hit the $70 million Powerball and the sign there he got the cash value of $41.5 million,” said pharmacy owner Matt Parisi.
One mom brought along her lucky charms — 2-year-old twins Blake and Francesca — to buy Powerball tickets.
Many said they knew exactly what they would spend if they won the grand prize.
“I just thought I’d get two — one for my wife and one for myself,” said Ron Rastivo, of Little Silver. “(Sloan: What would you do if you won?) We would give it mostly to charity. We have everything we need.”
Most said they couldn’t imagine keeping all the money to themselves.
“I’ve got three children, we’ll divide it between all of us,” said Little Silver resident Rita Desmond.
One volunteer EMS worker had bigger plans for her town.
“I would actually build a fire house. I would, I would build a fire house for volunteers. And I would take care of my parents and my grandma; I have a 102-year-old grandma,” said Elaina Caldera.
And there were some promises to CBS2 too.
“You get a million dollars when I win,” one Lottery hopeful told Sloan.
At a 7-Eleven store in Waldwick, the lines were so steady on Monday that a worker quit in the middle of his shift, saying he was sick and tired of selling Powerball tickets, 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reported.
International Delight Over Powerball Jackpot
The big prize was a world record that even Canadians couldn’t wait to get in on. You do not have to be a U.S. citizen to buy a ticket.
“We come here and drop a lot of money on a regular basis,” said Shari Ann, who drove nearly two hours from her Ontario home for a chance to become the world’s next billionaire. “We shop in the U.S. a lot, so we give to you, it’s time to give back.”
A potential international winner will pay 5 percent more than a U.S. citizen in federal taxes.
If no one wins Wednesday’s jackpot, Saturday’s top prize will be worth $2 billion with a cash option of $1.24 billion.