The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

May 18, 2013

Drawing tonight

Powerball fever is growing as jackpot surpasses $600 million

By Wendy Holdren
Register-Herald Reporter

— With an estimated Powerball Jackpot of $600 million, the largest prize in the game’s history and the world’s second largest lottery prize, many local residents are dreaming of how they would spend their fortune if they were to strike it rich.

Obvious responses, like mansions, beach front property and expensive cars, were nowhere to be found in Beckley, though — nearly everyone polled said they would spend their riches helping friends, family and making charitable contributions.

“I would help a lot of people out,” Roddy Baber said Thursday, after purchasing a single Powerball ticket.

He explained that the signs “Pray for Casey” posted around town were for his son, who was seriously injured in a car accident in 2005.

“A lot of people did a lot for us, and we would like to help them out in return.”

Baber said he would take care of his sons, grandson and friends with the money, as well as the cashier who sold him the winning ticket at Little General.

Little General Manager Hana Lilly said she sold over 1,000 Powerball tickets Thursday.

“It’s been crazy. We’ve been selling tickets almost nonstop.”

While the cashiers at Sheetz get a bit of a break as far as Powerball tickets go, one employee said the self-serve lottery machine had been littered with customers hoping to hit the jackpot.

According to the Powerball website, the odds of winning the grand prize are 5 million to 1.

One customer at Go-Mart on Harper Road said he had purchased several Powerball tickets and if he wins the grand prize, he plans on giving all his money to charity.

Three cashiers there, Valerie, Kalee and Christina, echoed his thoughts, and said they would love to start a charity organization that would benefit single mothers.

Of course, if there was anything left over after supporting charitable organizations, they said they would put the money toward furthering their education and traveling.

Just since the last drawing on Wednesday, the jackpot has grown by an estimated $236 million. The next drawing will be held tonight at 10:59 p.m.

— E-mail: wholdren@register-herald.com