Lottery hopefuls line up in Queens for $550M Powerball

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Two winning Powerball tickets were sold, one each in Missouri and Arizona.THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Mott
Two winning Powerball tickets were sold, one each in Missouri and Arizona.

Tonight’s Powerball jackpot is a record $550 million dollars, and all over Queens people have been lining up to buy a ticket.

“I’m hoping to win,” said Gerry from New Hyde Park. “Every so often when there’s a big one I buy each of them. I buy Powerball, Mega Millions, all of them. I plan on setting up my kids up for their futures.”

The Powerball jackpot was raised yesterday to $500 million dollars, and again today to $550 million.

In response, lines for local lotto vendors have been longer than normal.

“I work at 7-11. A lot of people have been coming in to buy Powerball, about five times more than usual” said Gary from Bayside. “We will probably sell more tickets today. I already bought mine.”

With so many people buying tickets, the odds for winning the Powerball jackpot are extremely low.

The Multi-State Lottery Association reports the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are one in 175,223,510. However, the overall odds of winning any prize are one in 31.85. With this in mind, it makes sense that so many people keep playing.

In fact, there have been four groups of Powerball jackpot winners in New York State alone since 2010.

Whatever the odds, they aren’t keeping lottery hopefuls from dreaming about what they would do if they won the big $550 million prize.

“We are buying and redeeming Powerball tickets because it’s the biggest Powerball in history. There’s always a line at the store, but it’s generally not this big of a line. If we win we will donate some of the money to charity,” Chris and Melanie from Bayside.

Debbie and her two children from Flushing have other plans. “When I win I’m going to quit my job and do nothing.” According to daughter Julia “We’re going to eat out every night so mom won’t have to cook.” Son Michael says “When mom wins I’m going to buy a private jet.”