By CBSNewYork Team

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The Powerball jackpot is $500 million dollars.

New Yorkers are buying their tickets in hopes of kicking off 2022 with a lot of extra cash.

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As CBS2’s Leah Mishkin reports, some pick Powerball numbers based on family birthdays. Not Aleta Sliwa.

“I just channel them,” Sliwa said.

“I do the auto pick. I don’t have her special abilities,” said her friend Jasmin Ho.

So what would they do with the money if they win?

“I’m taking her on a vacation,” Ho said.

“I’m going to invest immediately. I want to see it grow. I want to give it to all my friends. I want to give it help people that don’t have money,” Sliwa said.

The jackpot has been building since October. Since then, three second prize winning tickets have been sold in New York, worth a million bucks each.

David Dennis hopes he’s lucky number one.

“Are you kidding?” he said. “I’d stop worrying.”

Trisha Edwards has been buying her tickets at Pronto Pizza for years.

“They have positive vibes,” Edwards said.

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Pronto Pizza on West 48th street also sold a $432 million Mega Millions ticket in September.

What will Edwards do with the cash?

“Pay off all me and my husband’s credit cards and pay off the house,” she said.

She’s buying 100 tickets on the last day of 2021. They’re $2 each. She has her own strategy on how to pick the numbers.

“The time you start your job, the time the pandemic started,” she said.

The drawing is Saturday, January 1st

Dennis prefers going back to the store where he bought his ticket to see if he won.

“I always stick my ticket under the light because I actually had a dream 30 years ago that’s how I won,” he said.

Mishkin had those dreams, too.

If nobody wins tomorrow night, the next drawing will be on Monday.

Nobody has won the Powerball in New York since September of 2020 – maybe 2022 is the year.

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Leah Mishkin contributed to this report. 

CBSNewYork Team