Lottery hopefuls seek record $600 million Powerball jackpot - WSMV Channel 4

Lottery hopefuls seek record $600 million Powerball jackpot

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The jackpot for the Powerball lottery drawing Saturday is now a record $600 million, which has many people wondering what they would do with the winnings.

The 5,000 Powerball retailers in Tennessee are reporting big sales ahead of the drawing - averaging about $10,000 in sales a minute.

"I have a single set of numbers that I always play. And then I always do a Quick Pick. And if it gets big, I'll do two Quick Picks," said Middle Tennessee resident Lisa Berry. "That's what I did today."

State lottery officials say their best advise is to sign the back of your ticket, and if you decide to take part in an office pool with co-workers, make sure to clear up the rules well before the drawing.

The $600 million jackpot makes for the largest in Powerball history, and it could increase even higher.

Some are considering whether they should purchase more than one ticket, but even the woman in charge of the lottery says, statistically, probably not.

"Well, your odds go from 1 in 176,000,000 to 2 in 176,000,000 if you buy two tickets. So, you know, buy a ticket or two, have fun, enjoy. You can't statistically increase your odds of winning very much by buying a whole slew of tickets," said Tennessee Lottery President Rebecca Hargrove.

Lottery players have nine ways to win, including the jackpot, by matching the winning numbers. The odds to win any prize is one in 32.

And a possible change in the Powerball system could shape even bigger winnings. Right now, Illinois and Georgia offer online sales for lotto tickets.

And Tennessee could be considering it as a way to lock in younger players.

"I'm afraid if we're not there in 10 years, we'll lose those players when they turn 30," Hargrove said. "We're kind of going slow, seeing how other states do, seeing what its impact is. It's certainly something we might look at in the future but certainly not tomorrow."

The woman in charge also does not seem to suspect the addition of online sales would require a change in law, as it did in Illinois.

The winner of the $600 million prize will have the option of taking a cash payout of $376.9 million or a multi-million dollar annuity.

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