Iowa Lottery spokeswoman Mary Neubauer said of the price increase: “... we believed the jackpots would grow fast and grow large because of the change in the game, and it does appear that it is working.”
Roxie Breece, an assistant manager at a Cenex convenience store in Ogallala, Neb., thinks the long weekend will help. She said yesterday that clerks have sold far more Powerball tickets than usual over the past week.
“Tomorrow’s going to be a nightmare for us,” she said. “With everybody out shopping and the drawing on Saturday, we’ll be really busy.”
Lingle, who is also the executive director of the South Dakota Lottery, says this weekend will be “telling.”
“To my knowledge we’ve never had a large jackpot run like this fall over a major holiday,” he said.
Recent Powerball jackpot winners include an Iowa couple that won a whopping $202 million on Sept. 26. A week later, a Delaware resident picked all six numbers for a $50 million payday.
Chad Robinson, 41, a chef at a Cleveland restaurant, had an option during his break yesterday: Put down $2 on the Powerball game or go next door to Ohio’s first casino. He bet on the lottery, saying that much cash would change his life “drastically.”
“I figure I’ll make a lot of people happy with it, not just myself, spread the love and live my life out — parents, loved ones, kids, co-workers, charities,” he said. Robinson lost power at his suburban Cleveland home in Warrensville Heights during Sandy and said it made him mindful of life’s uncertainties.
Terry Fowler, 50, of Conneaut, Ohio, was visiting family in Tennessee for the holiday and stopped in a gas station in Brentwood yesterday morning to buy Powerball tickets. He’s a regular player.
“I want to see more than one person hit it so they can share the wealth,” said Fowler, a sales representative with a food service company. “I don’t think any one person needs $325 million. If 7-10 people hit that, they will live like kings.”
Associated Press writers Karen Matthews in New York, Grant Schulte in Lincoln, Neb., Jason Keyser in Chicago; Thomas J. Sheeran in Cleveland; and Kristin M. Hall, in Brentwood, Tenn., contributed to this report.