ShareThis Page

Powerball jackpot at $160 million

| Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2002

As tonight's Powerball jackpot enters into The Pennsylvania Lottery's history as the largest jackpot ever - presently $160 million - locals are eager for a piece of that rather large pie.

"They're playing it a lot," says Sandy Hart, an employee at the A Plus Mini Mart in Connellsville.

Hart saw an increase of Powerball sales after the beginning of December when the jackpot went over $100 million. She expects that today, the A Plus "is going to be packed."

Ed Saliba, manager at the A Plus, says that a line of people waited from the lottery machine to the outside of the door last weekend.

Of the people who enter the mini-mart and play the lottery, Hart finds that a majority are for the Powerball, which people play for office pools and individually. The average amount an individual spends at the A Plus is about $20 to $30 each, especially when the jackpot becomes higher.

For Connellsville resident Mike Gallo, who regularly plays Powerball and Cash 5 and prefers to purchase his tickets at different stores in the area, his usual winnings from Powerball are about $1 or $2, and the biggest payout he ever received from Powerball was $20.

Of course, with the odds of winning versus the number of chances one person has of winning the jackpot, Hart passes on the advice that is more than likely heard across the country from retailer to player: "It only takes one (ticket)."

"That might be it," says customer Alan Porter of Connellsville after requesting a quick pick selected from the lottery machine, which is an option that more people choose rather than picking their own numbers.

As Pennsylvania is feeling the excitement of its largest jackpot, the state is not alone in anticipating tonight's drawing.

Tonight's Powerball jackpot is the largest in the game's history and is also the largest in the world.

Not only is the annuity payoff the largest in The Pennsylvania Lottery's history, but the cash option alone of $86.5 million for tonight's Powerball the largest in the lotto's 31 years, according to lottery officials.

Before Powerball was introduced in June 2002, the largest jackpot and payout the lottery had was from the Super 6 where, in March, 14 grocery store employees in Franklin County won a cash payment of $30 million.

Although the Super 6 jackpot has experienced a slow rise since Pennsylvanians stopped crossing over to West Virginia to purchase their Powerball tickets, Hart says she's seen no such lag in Super 6 sales or the sales for any other lottery games, whether they would be online games or instant ticket games.

The Pennsylvania Lottery, which remains the only state lottery that designates its proceeds to benefit senior citizens, offers one bit of advice for people who want to play Powerball for tonight's 11 p.m. drawing, and that is to purchase tickets early in the day to avoid long lines and a last-minute rush for tickets.

While machines for the regular lottery, which consists of the Daily Number, Big 4 and Cash 5, close before the 7 p.m. drawing, customers can play Powerball until 10 p.m.

"Not a lot of people know that," said Hart who gets her share of last-minute lottery customers before a drawing.

On the Dec. 14 Powerball drawing, there were 172,739 winning plays sold, 25,835 of which selected the Power Play. The Power Play is an option on the Powerball which doubles the initial bet and can possibly multiply the winnings up to five times - something to think about when standing in line to purchase tickets.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.

click me