Record jackpot has lottery tickets flying off printers
Linda Henson plays the lottery pretty regularly, but when the Powerball jackpot hits $365 million, she makes sure she gets a ticket, sometimes two.
“I always play when it gets up this high,” Henson said Friday after buying two tickets at the Loaf ‘n Jug in Craig.
The jackpot for the 29-state Powerball is $365 million, the highest jackpot in United States history. The drawing for the winning numbers is at 8:59 p.m. today.
If Henson wins, she said, she plans to retire. But beyond retiring, she doesn’t know what she would do with that much money.
“I try not to think that far ahead,” she said.
The odds of hitting the jackpot today are 1 in 146 million, but that hasn’t discouraged people from playing.
From Sunday through Wednesday, the Colorado Lottery sold more than $3.8 million in lottery tickets. That is almost three times the sales from the week of Nov. 11, when the jackpot was $25 million.
Kristen Shrew, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Lottery, said sales pick up when the jackpot hits $300 million.
Shrew said she finds it a little surprising that people only buy tickets when the jackpot hits record highs.
“A hundred million would do fine by me,” she said with a laugh.
In Wednesday’s drawing, which didn’t have a jackpot winner, 77,299 players won a prize of between $3 and $10,000.
Lottery sales are especially robust in parts of Colorado near the Utah and Wyoming borders, Shrew said.
Utah and Wyoming aren’t Powerball states, so people go to places like Craig and Dinosaur to buy tickets, she said.
Dinosaur, which is just a few miles from the Utah border, is one of the state’s lottery hotspots, Shrew said.
Tickets were flying out of the big, blue Powerball machines on the counters of local gas stations Friday.
Jessica Sherwood, a clerk at Loaf ‘n Jug, 2401 W. Victory Way, said lottery sales were good all week, but by Friday, they were really good.
“Almost every customer buys at least one,” she said.
Some customers, such as Henson, buy two.
Brandon Johansson can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or email@example.com.
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