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Sales of Powerball tickets 'so-so' so far

June 28, 2002|by STACEY DANZUSO

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania residents have a new way of making their dreams come true.

At least one Franklin County, Pa., store planned to have extra staffing Thursday night and Saturday in anticipation of increased traffic from customers buying Powerball tickets.

Tickets for Powerball, a multistate jackpot lottery game, went on sale for the first time in the state Thursday morning at 5 a.m. The next drawing is Saturday at 11 p.m. for a $14 million jackpot.

Sales at the Sheetz convenience store on U.S. 30 in Chambersburg were only "so-so" Thursday morning, said Pam Varner, assistant store manager.

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But she said the store is expecting a rush as word spreads.

"We have extra people for tonight and Saturday. We're probably expecting Saturday to be our biggest day," Varner said.

With jackpots beginning at $10 million and known to push $300 million, Pennsylvanians have another chance of becoming multimillionaires if a little lotto luck is on their side.

Carol Jarboe, of Marion, Pa., popped into the Sheetz on Wayne Avenue in Chambersburg for some rolls, but when she heard the cashier mention Powerball tickets were on sale, she bought one.

"I knew it was coming, but I heard the cashier mention it so I bought a ticket," she said.

Jarboe said she and her husband, John, are regular lottery players, including Cash 5 and Super 6. She said they have been lucky in the past and used $1,200 they won over three days last year to buy a computer.

Donna Hock, a Sheetz employee, said she was asking customers buying their regular lottery tickets if they wanted to play Powerball.

"People are buying them in addition to what they normally play," she said.

Gail Nixon, office manager at Weis Markets on Wayne Avenue in Chambersburg, said ticket sales were slow Thursday morning, but she expected them to pick up.

"It's like anything else. It will take time to catch on," she said.

The Pennsylvania Lottery held kickoff celebrations to mark the first day of sales of Powerball tickets in the commonwealth at various locations in the state.

Tickets are available at the same retail locations where players purchase other lottery games and are on sale until 9:59 p.m. Saturday.

Powerball drawings take place every Wednesday and Saturday.

Lottery officials said they expect Powerball to increase lottery sales in the state by $60 to $100 million in the first year.

Tickets are sold only as annuity tickets, but winners have the choice of taking 25 annual payments or a lump-sum payment.

Each play costs $1. Players choose five numbers from 1 to 49 and a Powerball between 1 and 42.

The jackpot prize will be divided equally among all players who correctly match five white balls plus the red Powerball that is drawn.

Nobody won Wednesday night's Powerball drawing, and the jackpot is estimated to rise to $14 million Saturday, which equals a $7.9 million cash option.

It is not uncommon for jackpots to climb above $100 million. In 1998, 13 Ohio machine shop workers shared a $295 million prize.

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