What do you do after you’ve won $340 million in the lottery?
Buy more Powerball tickets and half hope they don’t pay off.
“It would be just too embarrassing if we won again,” said Frances Chaney of Jacksonville, Ore.
She said she and her husband, Robert, who won the big jackpot less than four months ago, bought tickets for Wednesday’s drawing and will probably try their luck again this weekend for what could be a record drawing of $365 million.
So, if it would be embarrassing to win, why play at all?
“For fun,” she said.
An Idaho Powerball player who won $220 million last May is also trying for a repeat, buying $400 in tickets a month.
“I think I am going to win again,” Brad Duke, who received $84 million after taxes the last time he won big, told KTVB television. “I like to play number games, I like to watch patterns, and I have come close a couple of times.”
Nobody won Wednesday when the jackpot was $308 million. It has since moved past the $340 million Powerball record of last October, causing a Powerball rule to kick in that limits increases above the record to $25 million per draw.
That puts Saturday’s top prize at $365 million for whoever matches all five numbers plus the powerball. And that makes it a North American record, eclipsing the $363 million Mega Millions jackpot from May 2000.
“Sales are going well,” Roger Simmons, Idaho Lottery director, told the Associated Press on Friday. “Very brisk.”
Simmons said he expected more than half a million tickets to be sold in Idaho on Friday. He said money generated by ticket sales beyond the $365 million limit is being put into a pool for distribution to players who match five numbers but not the powerball.
Those players normally win $200,000 when Powerball has a winner. In October’s record Powerball drawing, 49 tickets that matched five numbers received an additional $653,492 each, Simmons said, from money accumulated in such a pool.
Still, he cautioned against spending too much on lottery tickets. He said his office has been putting out public service announcements to that effect.
“It’s a long shot,” Simmons said “We encourage you to have fun but play responsibly. Don’t spend more than you can afford.”
According to Mike Hitchman, a mathematics professor at Albertson College in Caldwell, the odds of winning for someone who buys 10 tickets are one in 14 million. A person who bought a thousand tickets would see the odds improve to one in 146,000.
“You are better getting just one ticket because you can still dream the same amount, and you are spending less money, and you are going to walk away with more money in your pocket on average,” Hitchman said.
Simmons said the person who won in October did so with a $1 quick pick, and that Duke cashed in with a $4 ticket.
“It doesn’t take a huge investment,” he said.
Duke said he usually wins back about $200 of the $400 he spends on lottery tickets each month. He could improve his return by hitting the winning numbers Saturday.
“I wouldn’t even start to calculate the odds of him winning a big jackpot like that again,” Simmons said. “He said he wanted to be a billionaire, so I guess this is one way to try it.”
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