CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A $1.6 billion dollar jackpot is attracting Powerball players in Virginia to cash in on the historic prize.
The jackpot reached a world record after hitting $1.6 billion on Friday, Nov. 4, making local stores a must-stop for those who want to play the lottery ahead of Saturday night’s drawing.
The fantasy of winning the Powerball jackpot is drawing in players like Romond Anthony. He went to the Styles Bi-Rite convenience store on Hull Street Road.
“Everybody come out and play,” he said.
The Virginia Lottery said the odds of hitting the jackpot are one in 292 million, but Anthony still thinks he has a good chance at winning.
“Yes, my dollars are just as good as anyone else who’s playing,” he said.
John Hagerty, a spokesperson for the Virginia Lottery, said this record-breaking Powerball jackpot is bringing out more dreamers than ever before.
“People who see that high jackpot on a billboard or hear the buzz at work, they decide ‘OK I wasn’t playing before. Maybe now it’s time to get in the game,'” he said.
Many players told 8News they would give money to their families, if they won. Anthony discussed the reasons he bought lottery tickets on Friday.
“[To] secure my family. My immediate family, my kids. I have two daughters in college. And give to breast cancer awareness because I had a sister that passed from breast cancer over a year ago,” he said.
The profits from lottery ticket sales benefit K-12 public education in Virginia.
Since the drawing on Aug. 3, there have been ten Powerball wins in Virginia of $100,000 or more.
Even if you don’t hit the jackpot this weekend, there are other lesser prizes you could win, Hagerty said.
“Don’t throw your ticket away. Even if you just match the Powerball number and nothing else, you still win a prize,” he said. “The one sure thing in Powerball or every lottery game is, if you don’t buy a ticket the odds of winning are zero.”
As of 5:00 p.m. on Friday, Powerball sales in Virginia have already hit $2,837,909. Sales are usually higher on the day of the drawing.
Hagerty said the Virginia Lottery expects to sell more than 9,000 tickets per minute ahead of Saturday night’s 11 p.m. drawing.
Tickets can be purchased until 10:00 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5, at Virginia Lottery retailers, online at valottery.com or using the Virginia Lottery’s app.