What would you do with $1.5 billion?
Some lucky Warren County resident may be answering that question after Wednesday night’s Powerball drawing. With the lottery jackpot at its highest point in North American history, people are nabbing lottery tickets like never before.
“It’s been wild,” said Korner Market owner Terry Boyd. “People we don’t usually sell to are coming in and buying lottery tickets. It seems like everybody wants to get in on the action. It’s busy now, but it will really pick up the night of the drawing. No one wants to be the only one out there without a ticket.”
Korner Market clerk Michelle Davis agrees.
“They’ve been buying tickets all day, every day,” she said.
Odds of landing the winning lottery ticket are remote. According to lottery officials, the chances are 1-in-292 million.
University of Buffalo professor of biostatistics Jeffrey Miecznikowski told ABC News the chance of winning the lottery is equal to flipping a coin and having it land on heads 28 times in a row.
Rather than picking numbers based on birthdays or other meaningful dates, lottery officials say about 70 percent of past winners have let the computer pick the numbers. If you do pick your own numbers, it’s recommended to stick to that same combination every time.
McMinnville resident Martha Davis said she bought a ticket for the Powerball drawing Saturday night and had her hopes dashed like everyone else when her numbers didn’t pop up.
Davis said she’d be generous should she ever be fortunate enough to win such riches.
“I’d help my family out and everybody else who needed it,” said Davis. “I was a single mom raising two kids and working two jobs so I know what it’s like.”
The monstrous jackpot started out as a “mere” $40 million on Nov. 4. The pot had swollen to $1.5 billion as of Tuesday afternoon after rolling over 18 times without a winner.
Should you win the jackpot, you can have your prize paid in 30 annual installments or pick a lump sum payout estimated at $930 million.
McMinnville Mayor Jimmy Haley said he would become the town philanthropist if he wins.
“I’d give back to the community I love,” said Haley. “I’d extend the greenway, rehab the Blue Building, build an indoor pool and a new Mechatronics center, update technology at schools, establish a scholarship fund. My list is endless.”
Todd Herzog continued the theme of giving, should he be fortunate enough to win the lottery.
“My wife and I would greatly expand our charitable giving, including a fully funded scholarship program at our deceased daughter’s college, an endowment fund for Habitat for Humanity in our county, and several other charity causes we have supported,” said Herzog.