LINCOLN COUNTY, Tenn. (WHNT) – The Powerball lottery is now at a whopping $1.5 billion dollars, the third-largest lottery prize in U.S. history.
After no one won Wednesday night’s $1.2 billion dollar Powerball jackpot, people are playing in hopes of winning big this Saturday night.
“This is unreal, to see the people, the cars, the movement is just unreal due to the increase in the numbers,” says Rachel Sharp.
Rachel Sharp manages Lucky’s Deli at the South Lincoln Shell gas station just over the Alabama-Tennessee state line.
“So then I’ve seen the same people all this week over and over, and not only for the lottery tickets, but for the food as well, but the lottery tickets being the big item, the big item,” says Sharp.
She says the $1.5 billion dollar jackpot is driving people into their store.
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“And just I looked up. We had several lines on top of several lines wrapping around the whole store so just patiently waiting to get a hold of that winning ticket,” says Sharp.
The hours before Wednesday’s drawing have been extra busy.
“A little after 11 yesterday we started seeing an increase in the parking lot so much so that all the employees had to move their cars in order for everybody to come in,” says Sharp, which she states has been good for business.
“While they are standing in line they look around. I say things, they buy it, of course, all of our grocery store items our chips our drinks, but it’s really promoted the business and the food,” says Sharp.
No one has won the top Powerball prize since August 3rd. That makes 39 consecutive drawings without anyone matching all six numbers. The next drawing is Saturday night. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 292 million.
Dr. Mark Glickman, Ph. D., a senior lecturer in the Harvard University Department of Statistics says those long odds are because the grand prize has grown so large.
“Well, the more you play, the more you increase your odds of winning. So there is something to it. Of course, the amount of the expected return is still very small. So even if you’re buying 50 tickets, the likelihood is that you’re almost certain still to lose and not win the jackpot. In fact, the chance of even winning $4 by playing is still pretty small,” says Glickman.