’Tis the season for giving, especially if Hiram Thompson wins the $500 million Powerball jackpot tonight.
Each of his 60 employees from Thompson Building Wrecking Co. would get $100,000. His friends, family, church, Golden Harvest Food Bank and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital would get a share, too, Thompson said.
“I always thought I would share if I won the lottery. I always had that in mind,” Thompson said as he picked his numbers at Bodie’s Shell station on 13th Street.
Thompson went into the store for a cup of coffee but decided to try his luck on the lottery, as he does a few times each year.
“For $500 million, you can get four to five tickets and have a stake in the game and have an opportunity to do a lot of good for not only yourself, but for friends and family,” he said.
On Tuesday, Powerball officials boosted the jackpot to
$500 million from the previously posted $425 million. The jackpot is the largest ever for the Powerball game and the second-largest lottery jackpot of all time, eclipsed only by the $656 million Mega Millions record set in March, The Associated Press reported.
Walton Lamar, of North Augusta, also felt generous Tuesday. He purchased two tickets earlier in the week hoping to win money for his wife, two children, siblings and cousins.
“If I win, I want to make a lot of people happy,” Lamar said. “Everybody in my family would be rich.”
At Bodie’s on Monday and Tuesday, cashier Tyleasha Burns said she sold tickets to several groups of co-workers that pooled money to purchase tickets and planned to split the winnings.
Heyward Jones knows how it feels to be a winner. He has won about $22,000 playing the lottery in Georgia and South Carolina, which he used to pay his mortgage.
Luck has never been on Jones’ side when playing the Powerball, but that won’t stop him from buying tickets. He studies winning numbers from previous drawings and picks them along with some numbers that carry special significance to him.
“Nine times out of 10, if you get a number that comes out once a year, it’s going to come out again,” Jones said. “I don’t just play anything.”