Mich. lottery dreamers eye big Powerball jackpot
The odds are long but they aren't stopping tens of thousands of Michiganians from trying their luck in a huge Powerball lottery jackpot.
The pot grew to $510 million when no one won Wednesday's drawing. The next drawing is Saturday.
Jeff Holyfield, spokesman for the Michigan Lottery, said it's the eighth all-time high lottery on the jackpot list and the fifth highest jackpot for Powerball.
“As of 3:30 Thursday, players in Michigan bought 295,000 tickets for the drawing and 250,000 purchased of those were purchased today," Holyfield said. "If we get lucky and someone from Michigan wins Saturday night, they will be the largest record holder in the state."
The record holder is Donald Lawson of Lapeer, who won $337 million in a Powerball drawing on Aug. 15, 2012.
Eva Leon of Rochester Hills is a clerk at Cadillac Liquor and said more than 150 people had stopped in to buy tickets before 4 p.m. Thursday.
"We have lots of loyal customers that come and get their tickets days ahead," Leon said. "I play, too, and I only do random picks. If I won, I'd hope to buy a house."
Amber Seals, 26, of Farmington Hills bought 80 tickets at the store for the employee pool at Michigan Works.
"We have about 12 people ... and bought 80 tickets. We only do it when it's a big jackpot," Seals said. "The most we've ever won is $3, but it's worth a try."
Seals said if she wins, she'll use the money to support her family and pursue her dream of opening up a group home.
How much is $510 million?
"If you decided you wanted to spend $1,000 an hour, it would take you 58 years," Holyfield said,
The U.S. Treasury defines the term "a ton of money" as $108 million by weight. The jackpot Thursday "weighed" 562 tons.
"It's a life-changing amount of money and whatever dreams anyone has, this could make them come true," Holyfield said.
Players have until 9:45 p.m. on Saturday to buy tickets, in store or online. The drawing is at 11 p.m. Saturday.