Brett Blume

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) –  That monster jackpot in tonight’s Powerball drawing — $500 million — has put lottery officials in the unusual position of encouraging people to buy Powerball tickets…just not too many.

“We ask that people play responsibly,” May Scheve Reardon, executive director of the Missouri Lottery, told KMOX News, “because it only takes one ticket to win.”

A check with hopefuls in line Tuesday to buy their Powerball tickets at a south St. Louis convenience store revealed a variety of strategies:

“I put in $4…that’s all I’m willing to put in to it.”

“I just bought one quick pick. You can’t win if you don’t play. It only takes one ticket to win.”

“Fifty dollars. I buy tickets throughout the area to make it seem like I have a better chance”.

But many of the dreams of what they would do with all of that cash ran along similar lines — pay off debts, help friends and family, buy a new car, a new house, or travel the world.

And quit their jobs.

“Powerball is back in serious dream territory,” said Reardon, who noted that changes which kicked in back in January have delivered what lottery officials were hoping for: bigger jackpots.

“Before the changes the highest Powerball reached was $365 million back in 2006,” said Reardon. “This year alone, the jackpot went to $325 million in February, $320 million in August and now Wednesday’s prize of $500 million.”

The one-time payment for a winning Powerball ticket would currently be $327 million.

Reardon reminded players to check their tickets carefully after the drawing, since there are nine ways to win a prize, ranging from $4 all the way up to that jackpot of $500,000,000.


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