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Powerball players share what they'd do if they win $700M jackpot

Jeff Himler
| Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017, 12:33 a.m.

Interest in Powerball tickets is mounting at area sales outlets, stoked by an estimated jackpot of $700 million up for grabs in Wednesday's drawing.

With an extra-big lottery payout — potentially the second-largest ever in the nation — players on Tuesday were dreaming of ways to share their hoped-for windfall.

Jim Slonecki of Unity received one of three tickets purchased by friend Donna Keener at the Beer Arena along Donohoe Road in Hempfield. If his numbers are drawn, he said, his plan is to donate some of the proceeds to local churches and charities while also sharing it with family.

If he doesn't win, he said, "I'd like to see somebody that really needs the money win who's not well-off already."

Slonecki is a frequent Powerball player. When he purchases his tickets, he said, he may use family birthdates or pick numbers from a large soup bowl.

Keener, also of Unity, lets the computer select her numbers. She's less optimistic about her chance of winning the drawing, preferring scratch-off lottery tickets, and plays the Powerball game only when the stakes are high.

"You can't win on it. There's too many people that play it," she said.

"People do crazy things when they get big amounts of money," she observed. If her number does come up, she plans to build a ranch house.

John Simpson of Greensburg, another Powerball player who waits for the jackpot to climb before participating, purchased a ticket at the Tobacco Outlet on the city's South Main Street.

If he takes home Wednesday's jackpot, he plans to pay bills and give financial help to his mother.

"I'll spread the wealth around," he said.

Sherry Hoffman, a clerk at the Sunoco A-Plus convenience store on Georges Station Road in Hempfield, said Powerball ticket sales were robust, with some customers purchasing $80 worth or more.

She expected the demand to grow Wednesday. "It's going to be horrible tomorrow," she said.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6622, jhimler@tribweb.com or via Twitter @jhimler_news.

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