Update: Powerball Jackpot Hits $550 Million
FOX 47 News
Photo: Video by fox47news.com
The smiles, the tears, those are all reactions from people who won big in the past. Wednesday, people lined up again hoping they'll be the one to hit the record Powerball jackpot.
"I would probably buy my mom a house, then I would pay off my bills and then buy me a house," said Mary McDonald.
Regardless of who will be the lucky winner, it's safe to say Michigan is already a winner.
"In terms of revenue for the state, this is really a big win," said Andi Brancato, public relations director for Michigan Lottery.
According to latest numbers, Michigan lottery recorded $13 million in Powerball ticket sales since Saturday night. About 34% goes to the school aid fund, totalling roughly $4.4 million.
"It's a great thing for schools, it's a great thing for the lottery, it's a great thing for retailers who earn a commission when they sell our tickets and when they cash the lottery tickets and of course, the obvious great thing is for the players when someone wins," said Brancato.
Michigan Lottery wants to remind all players to have fun, but play responsibly.
"It is important that people remember the lottery is a game for adults and it's a form of entertainment. If you do not have the money to spend on a lottery ticket you should not buy a lottery ticket," Brancato said.
For some, having the chance to win half a billion dollars is an opportunity too good to pass. Ellenore Johnson doesn't usually play the lottery, but this time, she's just one of many trying their luck.
"It's a big chance, everybody is out to try," Johnson said.
It's big money, but the chance not so much. MSU statistics and probability professor, Raoul LaPage, says according to his calculations, the chance someone will hit the Powerball jackpot is just one in 175 million.
"We get them from the number of winning combinations and the number of combinations offered," Prof. LaPage said.
Prof. LaPage has the game tied to calculations and mathematical formulas. To simplify, the chance of one in 175 million is roughly equal to the probability of someone tossing a coin and getting heads 27 times in a row.
Years back, Prof. LaPage designed a lottery game himself and says as with Powerball, the games are designed to be random. That means, winning numbers in the past may not do the same for you.
Regardless, Johnson is throwing her numbers into the pool and hoping that odds are in her favor.
"It's a lot of money, I can go see my grandkids in California, in New Mexico and I can see my daughter in Florida," said Johnson.