FAIRfIELD COUNTY, Conn. — There was no shortage of dream seekers buying Powerball tickets Thursday in Fairfield County as the jackpot surged to a record $700 million.
What would you do if you won the record Powerball jackpot?
Go on a long vacation
Buy a new house — or two
Buy a new car — or two
Start a business
Give it all away
Keep it a secret
It's too much money to even consider
Some banded together to pick up several tickets for the office. Others bought just one as a treat.
In Greenwich, some tried their luck at East Putnam Variety, one of the 17 stores in town that sells lottery tickets.
Rob Martin, a partner in the store, said he saw a steady stream of customers buying Powerball tickets Thursday. One customer even purchased more than $1,000 worth of tickets!
But he’s gearing up for Friday, when he expects even more customers.
That “will be insane,” he said Thursday from behind the counter. Friday is payday for many of his customers, Martin said. It’s also the last business day before the big drawing on Saturday, he said.
With no big winner Wednesday night, people were lining up with $2 and a dream on Thursday.
“I'd pay off the mortgage. ... I've got a daughter getting married next year, pay off everybody's school loans, help whoever I can live a more comfortable life,” said Bill John of Trumbull.
He bought his single ticket Thursday afternoon from Nada Ghalayini at Nick’s Grocery in Bridgeport.
Some customers buy a Powerball ticket as an impulse when purchasing something else, Martin said. But others come in specifically to buy a ticket, he said, but often find something among the rows of candy, magazines and toys that meets their fancy.
Either way, Powerball is good for business. A handmade orange sign on the store’s front door encourages customers to come in a try their luck for the $700 million jackpot, which will be worth about $428 million after taxes.
Martin said if he won the lottery, his family and St. Jude’s, his favorite charity, would be happy. And he has an idea for a different sign to greet customers.
“The sign on the door will read, 'Take what you want, leave the rest,'” he said.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.