Powerball fever continues in Southwest Florida
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Lines have been long all day at Powerball retail locations across the state.
FOX 4's Kelli Stegeman is talking to those hoping to win big, and those helping those big dreamers with their tickets.
Powerball officials Wednesday said about 160,000 tickets were sold every minute.
No matter the time of day, it was Powerball time in Southwest Florida.
It's the height of hope just hours before the second biggest Powerball jackpot in U.S. history.
"I've got a good vibe," said hopeful Ed Ivy.
Through the night Wednesday, those last minute luck seekers kept coming out of the woodwork, or they just sent their husbands to get a ticket.
"My wife decided she wanted Powerball tickets at the last minute," said David Raposa. "Where is your wife?" asked Fox 4 reporter Kelli Stegeman. "Home," Raposa replied with a laugh. "I'm the sucker."
A big Powerball means big business for Lawhon's Grocery owner Larry Belanger, especially in the morning.
"People in and out, the line was out, it was back here, it was like what you would expect for $500 million," Belinger said.
"I'm going to do some quick picks," said Ivy. "Some lucky numbers, some birthdays, you know stuff like that."
Ivy thinks he may have an idea on a big part of the draw.
"I think they're all just hoping for something because of the way the economy is," he said.
It's a glimpse of a better life for those brave enough to get in the game.
"You gotta take a shot," Raposa said. "If you don't take a shot, you never know, right?"
There have been 16 consecutive drawings without a winner. Powerball officials say there's a 75% cyance somone will win Wednesday's drawing. They also say if that is the case, there is a good chance there will be more than one winner.
The cash payout is expected to be more than $360 million.