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Yikes! Powerball hits record $1.4 Billion

Posted at 5:48 PM, Jan 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-11 19:58:30-05

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV)  - So you’re saying there’s a chance.

We were all back to work on Monday and the Powerball lottery continues to balloon. In just three days the jackpot has jumped by nearly 500 million dollars so with the jackpot juiced up to $1.4 billion the dream lives on for us all.

We didn’t see anyone at the Lottery retailers about to shop for their own private island, so that means no one won the Powerball lottery Saturday night.

That means it's soaring towards a world record of 1.4 billion dollars.

$1.4 billion is a number so big Powerball buyers have a tough time wrapping their heads around it.

Powerball player Erin Lehr says, “Nobody needs that much money.”

KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith asked: “But you might be willing to give it a try?”

Lehr: “Yes. I would. Yeah. I'd share. I'd share. I know a lot of people that need help. So..."

As Savannah Russell bought her tickets, she joked with Quik Mart Manager Brenda Strider: "And of course you know when we've won you're always going to be in our hearts. We'll think of you while we're spending it... Yeah,” She laughed.

Two players in Arizona had a classic good news, bad news moment Saturday night. The bad news is they missed the grand prize because they didn't have the Powerball. The good news is picking all five of the regular balls won them a million dollars apiece. Those tickets came from stores on Peoria and Bullhead City.

Someone in Tucson bought a fifty thousand dollar ticket.

But now it's time to look ahead to Wednesday night and that world record pot. At a Quik Mart on Speedway Brenda Strider is making sure she won't run out of blank tickets.

She says regular players can be very concerned something will jinx their luck.

"Some people do it on separate papers. Some do their own numbers... It depends.. I don't know.

She says she's seeing a lot of people buy Powerball who are not regular players, many come in for something else and figure with winnings so huge, they might as well try their luck.

The jackpot has rolled over to be so huge because the odds against winning are huge. More than 293 million to one but Deanna Lewis is confident she has a system.

“E=MC squared. This is right here.”

Craig Smith reminded her when she cited Einstein’s famous Theory of Relativity: “Einstein also said, 'God doesn't play dice with the universe.’

Lewis: “No He doesn't. And the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results which means every time you play this and lose and you keep playing and losing you're doing something wrong right? And here you are. But this is my first time doing this. Well, okay, second."

Dolores Hoerning remembers when numbers games were not something state government ran...they were something the mob ran.

"Used to play the numbers way back in the 60s when you give them a quarter and you give them the numbers and that was it.”

Craig Smith asked: “You mean, like the organized crime numbers?”

Hoerning: “On the street. quarter, here's my numbers ...But that's the early 60s so it's past seven years right...OK.

Smith: “Which one paid off better the numbers, the illegal numbers racket or the lottery?”

Hoerning: “I think the illegal numbers racket because I used to win it."

Clerks see plenty of superstitions when a big jackpot's up.

Quik Mart Manager Jacob Jackson says, “I have one person that required me to run his numbers ...Do a quick pick first, then run his numbers because he felt the machine would pick up his numbers and print out the quick pick numbers close to his numbers."