Customers walked up to Sheila McFadden’s counter all day Wednesday, spilling their dreams and cash on a chance to be multimillionares.
“This evening we’re going to get slammed,” said McFadden, a cashier at the 525 E. Martintown Road Greg’s Gas Plus in North Augusta, about the expected lottery traffic for Wednesday’s Powerball drawing.
The $425 million jackpot is the third-largest in history, according to the Georgia Lottery Corp.
“The closer it gets, the more anxious people get,” said Samir Patel, the owner of Lucky Spot on Gordon Highway, and Highway 88 Mart in Hephzibah.
Each time the lottery builds into the triple digits, the day is the same, cashiers said. Traffic begins slowly but increases in the evening as word gets around and people decide $2 is a small price to pay for the chance to win millions.
According to the Georgia Lottery, players have a 1-in-175 million chance of getting the big bucks and a 1-in-32 chance of winning a prize.
A major overhaul of the game in January 2012 included raising the price of a ticket from $1 to $2 and starting the jackpot at $40 million instead of $20 million.
Lottery players aren’t the only ones with their fingers crossed. Store owners, who receive a bonus for selling the winning ticket, are also hopeful.
“I’d love to sell a winning ticket,” Patel said.
Forty-three states participate in the Powerball. Three players from Georgia have won the jackpot since 2003, but Pennsylvania beats out all other states with 16 wins.
Associated Press reports were used in this article.