BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — No winner was announced in Wednesday night’s Powerball drawings and the jackpot has reached a near record amount.
The Powerball Jackpot is now $1.5 billion, which is already the second-highest total in the history of the game. To win a jackpot, a player must match all regular numbered balls plus the red Powerball.
Many players, including a few in the Twin Cities, hope Lady Luck is on their sides. After all, it is a 1 in a 292.2 million chance of winning the jackpot, according to the official Powerball website.
“If you ain’t in the game, you can’t win,” said Bloomington Powerball player Claude Prather on Thursday.
Prather purchased two tickets Thursday afternoon and is hoping to win big Saturday night.
“If I win that money, once they take their share out of it, I’m going to open up a bank account for my daughters and my grandkids, they come first,” Prather said.
Prather said after helping his family, he would donate a portion of his winnings to a local church and charities, leaving the rest for personal enjoyment.
“Then after that, hey probably live life. I wouldn’t change too much. I’d stay like I am, upgrade a little bit, probably get a new car,” Prather said.
Prather said he and many others always buy their tickets at West Market Groceries in Bloomington. Manager of the store Purva Patel said she sees Prather everyday.
“We have a lot of regular customers and right now I’ve seen new people too,” Patel said.
The highest-ever Powerball jackpot was $1.586 billion set in January of 2016. Bloomington resident Rocco Divizio said the 2022 jackpot is the first time he’s seen it that large since he’s been playing.
“Never have, it’s kind of amazing to see it this high,” Divizio said.
Divizio said he generally plays when it’s high and Patel said she sells more tickets the higher the total.
“More people yesterday (Wednesday), I sold like $500 worth of Powerball and today also I sold a lot,” Patel said.
Although no jackpots were sold in Illinois, a couple Central Illinoisians took home some serious loot. A $100,000 winning ticket was sold at the IGA in Metamora and a $50,000 winning ticket was sold at a Pekin Circle K.