Powerball Frenzy Has Local Convenience Stores Seeing Rush
By Ethan Calloway
Gas stations and convenience stores were seeing a rush of customers Wednesday and it was all for one main reason -- people wanting to get their hands on a winning Powerball Lotto ticket.At the QuickTrip on Peoria and 51st, it was not just gas, hot dogs, and chips customers were lining up to buy at check-out.Many of those extra customers were there, hoping for a windfall. With the jackpot set at a whopping $360 million dollars on Wednesday afternoon, the excitement was building.Some of those customers already had plans for the money, if they were to win it big."Well, first of all, I would give a certain percentage to God and then the rest of it, I would probably invest," said one lottery player.Another Powerball player said, "When we were in Key West a couple of years ago, we saw a place advertised -- a big spread, like $6 million or something and we'd buy that and be in the Keys and have the kids come down, you know and everything. You know, just stuff. Crazy stuff."The big rush that comes in the days and hours ahead of a high-dollar drawing does not necessarily mean bigger profits for the convenience stores selling the tickets.Mike Thornbrugh with Quicktrip says there are pros and cons for the stores that handle the rush. "It's a blessing and it's a curse and the only reason we carry it is because the customer wants it," he said, pointing out that in Oklahoma, stores do not make much off of the lotto ticket sales.But, regardless, the excitement was present and plenty of people took their chances and speculating on what the odds might be, that they could end up holding that giant check. "One in a billion," said one customer. "Yeah, hoping to win, just like everyone else is hoping to win, too," said another.The big drawing happens Wednesday night at 9:59 PM. If no one buys the winning ticket, the jackpot total will continue to rise for another drawing on Friday.
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