Powerball mania hit the United States on Saturday for a draw for a $1.6 billion jackpot, a world record.
“I’m winning #Powerball tonight, so you guys can just relax,” wrote Twitter user Glen McClure.
The Powerball jackpot is the largest ever collected and it got many thinking about what they would do with such a wealth.
“Dream homes, travel, helping family and friends,” said Dontel Ducksworth, a 28-year-old who visits a 7-Eleven supermarket in the US capital. “But you have to take care of yourself first.”
A steady stream of customers secured Powerball tickets leading up to Saturday’s draw at 10:59 PM (0259 GMT).
“I keep saying, ‘Good luck!’” said Bezu Wondi, the 28-year-old 7-Eleven cashier.
He hopes that a customer who visits his store can buy a winning ticket.
“They say, if they win, ‘I’ll give you money,'” Wondi said. “They make promises,” he added, giggling.
The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 292.2 million, according to Powerball organizers. And if there are double winners who select the same combination of numbers, they would share the jackpot.
“I don’t know how to play it,” said Yoss Aguilar, a 25-year-old cashier at a Wawa supermarket. But she’s seen the stream of people buying Powerball tickets from a vending machine in her store, decorated with a big sign: “A lot of people WIN.”
It costs $2 to purchase a Powerball ticket and a winner can choose a lump sum calculated for Saturday’s jackpot at $782.4 million. Or they can opt for payments over 30 years.
“I wonder how much they really get after taxes?” asked Aguilar.
Still a lot, even if the US tax authorities account for about 40 percent.
Ducksworth, the actor, and his friend, Karl Holland, a 28-year-old artist, debated how they would handle such huge profits.
“It can be overwhelming,” Holland said.
“There is never too much,” Ducksworth replied.
“There IS always too much money. You become a target,” Holland said, adding that all kinds of friends would beat him for money. “I don’t say ‘no’ too easily.”