Powerball jackpot builds to $325M for Saturday
By Adam Brandolph
Published: Friday, Nov. 23, 2012, 1:04 p.m.
Karen Moore spent most of Friday hoping she could put off Christmas shopping for at least another week.
Having a winning ticket for Saturday's $325 million Powerball drawing — the fourth-highest in the lottery's history — would alter her list significantly.
“That much money would make a lot of things easier, that's for sure,” Moore, 39, a mother of three from Frazer, said at the GetGo gas station in O'Hara. “It would answer a lot of prayers.”
A single winner choosing a cash payout would take home nearly $213 million before state and federal taxes, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs Powerball. The jackpot could rise even higher by Saturday's 11 p.m. drawing, depending on how many tickets are sold.
“Even if there's a one-in-a-billion chance to win, it's well worth it,” said David Colavecchio, 42, of Hempfield, who bought $20 worth of tickets at the BP gas station along McKnight Road in Ross. “We've all had dreams of what you'd do with the money if you won — how many houses or cars you'd buy, where you'd go on vacation, how you'd quit your job. But like they say, you can't win if you don't have a ticket.”
Powerball began in 1992 and is played in 42 states, Washington, D.C., and the Virgin Islands. The odds of hitting all five numbers and the Powerball are 1 in 175 million.
Since Powerball tickets doubled in price to $2 in January, the number of tickets sold has decreased, but sales revenue has made up for it, increasing by about 35 percent, said Norm Lingle, chairman of the Powerball board of directors.
As the price went up, so did the jackpots, enticing thousands across the country to play.
Saturday's jackpot has been building since an anonymous winner in Delaware hit for $50 million on Oct. 16 and an Iowa couple won $202 million the week before. There have been 14 consecutive drawings without a jackpot winner.
Store clerks said they were not sure whether the holiday weekend helped ticket sales. They said they sold more than their usual number of tickets.
“A lot more people have come in for tickets, but I don't know if it's the large jackpot or because people are off for the holiday,” said Jim Gohil, a clerk at the Sunoco station along Perry Highway in West View.
Lingle, who also is 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.
Saturday's drawing is the largest since Aug. 15, when Donald Lawson, 44, of Michigan claimed his $337 million fortune. Lawson took the cash option, a lump sum of $224.6 million.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.