DES MOINES — Ticketholders aren’t the only ones who benefit from a win like the one expected in the latest Powerball drawing, estimated at $425 million so far. Stores known for selling winning tickets also see their business pick up as superstitious dreamers pour in, hoping luck will strike again.
The jackpot for today’s drawing would fetch a single winner a lump-sum payment after taxes of about $244.7 million. While not close to the record $590.5 million Powerball jackpot won by a Florida woman in May, Multi-State Lottery Association executive director Chuch Strutt said if no winning combination for the major jackpot is drawn today, “we would be in world record territory” going into Saturday’s drawing.
The world’s highest lottery jackpot was a $656 million Mega Millions jackpot sold in March 2012.
For jackpots as big as today’s Powerball pot, convenience stores, gas stations and newsstands throughout the 43 states and other places where the game is played are deluged by ticket requests — including many from those who only play for massive jackpots they see as life-changing.
In addition to the bonus money the lottery gives to stores that sell tickets that win big, the retailers receive media coverage that can last for days and — best of all — get a boost from becoming known as the place that sold a winning ticket.
When word got out that a southeast Pennsylvania 7-Eleven sold a $1 million Powerball ticket on Saturday, customers hoping to experience some luck of their own flocked to the store.
“The manager said people were pouring into her store wanting to buy lottery tickets,” 7-Eleven spokeswoman Margaret Chabris said, referring to the store in Langhorne, Pa. “They were of course really excited that one of their customers had won.”
At a Casey’s General Store in Bondurant, everyone knows it’s the place where a $202.1 million Powerball jackpot ticket was sold to a local woman in September. Asked what types of questions the store gets when the jackpots get huge, assistant manager Debra Fetters said: “Does lightning strike twice here?”