October 19, 2005 in Nation/World

Lottery players hope for repeat

Associated Press
Associated Press photo

Danny Loudin buys a Powerball ticket Tuesday at the C&L Super Serve in Hurricane, W.Va., where a ticket worth $314.9 million was sold in 2002.
(Full-size photo)

HURRICANE, W.Va. – With $340 million up for grabs in the second-biggest lottery jackpot in U.S. history, people trekked to a small-town West Virginia convenience store to buy their tickets Tuesday in the apparent belief that lightning can strike twice in the same place.

Nearly three years ago, it was the C&L Super Serve in Hurricane that sold the ticket that made West Virginia contractor Jack Whittaker the winner of the nation’s biggest undivided jackpot: $314.9 million in the multi-state Powerball lottery.

Wednesday’s Powerball jackpot climbed into the stratosphere after 20 straight drawings in which no one won the grand prize.

“It’s a lot a money to win for just playing a dollar,” 18-year-old construction worker Danny Loudin said after buying his ticket at the C&L.

Twenty-seven states including Idaho offer Powerball, along with the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Edward Jarvis, a 39-year-old real estate agent, drove from New York’s Long Island to Greenwich, Conn., to buy $120 worth of tickets.

“That’s worth an hour or two out of your day,” he said.

The odds of hitting all six numbers are 1 in 146 million.

The biggest lottery jackpot in U.S. history is $363 million, won by two ticketholders in Illinois and Michigan in 2000.

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