Powerball fever in KC as lottery hopefuls chase $425M jackpot - KCTV5

Powerball fever in KC as lottery hopefuls chase $425M jackpot

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RIVERSIDE, MO (KCTV/AP) -

Eight months after a trio of ticket buyers split a $656 million Mega Millions jackpot to set a world lottery record, Powerball is offering up a prize that would be the second-highest.

The $425 million jackpot, the largest in Powerball's history, represents a potential life-changing fortune, and as one can imagine, the demand for tickets is picking up.

The triple-digit, million-dollar jackpot is the kind of number that gets almost anyone dreaming.

Chuck Strutt, executive director of Multi-State Lottery Association, predicts there's about a 60 percent chance it'll happen Wednesday - maybe better if there's a flurry of last-minute ticket purchasers picking unique numbers.

"Just forget about it everybody, I got the winning ticket right here," Powerball player Roy Daniels said.

A small, but optimistic and determined group of potential winners got a head start over Wednesday's Powerball numbers announcement, plunking down dollars for a chance to hit it big.

"I just went up there and said, 'Give me two.' She asked if I wanted them on the same ticket and I said 'Yes, I want $425 million.'" Daniels said.

That was the number on every lottery hopeful's mind Monday night in Riverside. It was plastered everywhere inside and out of the Red X, as ticket clerks had their hands full.

"I've done over 1,200 today, and I got here at 12:30 p.m.," Chris Hoggatt said.

The jackpot already has defied long odds by rolling over 16 consecutive times without anyone hitting the big prize, a $278.3 million cash value. Analysts puts the odds at around 5 percent that there would be no winner in the entire run, including Wednesday.

However, Joy Carvin is already planning a vacation, even though she hasn't claimed the big prize.

"It's mine, and I'm supposed to win," she said.

Mathematicians say the odds of a lightning strike in a person's lifetime at 1 in 5,000. The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot: 1 in 175 million.

It is estimating that there will be $214 million in sales for Wednesday's drawing, up from $140 million from last Saturday's drawing.

Half the proceeds go to the prize pool - about a third of that to the big jackpot, with the rest to lower ones, including a new $1 million second prize. The other half goes to the lottery operations in the 42 states plus Washington, D.C., and the Virgin Islands where Powerball is played. This funds charitable efforts such as education, in addition to paying for overhead and compensating winning stores.

Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.)  and The Associated Press.  All rights reserved.

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