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Hoping for a winner; Local residents line up for a chance at monster Powerball jackpot

Thursday, November 29, 2012

(Photo)
Lois Parks fills out her Powerball entry in hopes of winning the estimated $550 million jackpot on Wednesday night at Pump 'N Pete's, 1920 S. Main St.
(Laurie Sisk/Tribune)
What would you do if you won half a billion dollars? That is the question that many Fort Scottians hoped they would be able to answer as they purchased tickets Wednesday for the largest jackpot in Powerball history.

"Probably faint," answered Lois Parks on Wednesday night as she filled out a Powerball entry at Pump 'N Pete's, 1920 S. Main St.

"I'd probably never live to spend it," laughed Parks, 84, of Fort Scott.

Parks said she never plays the bigger jackpots, but she is fond of Keno.

"I don't ever play the big ones," Parks said. "This is the first time."

While looking at the Keno screen at Pete's, Parks saw the jackpot and decided to try her luck.

"I saw all these people filling them out and I thought, well, I'm going to fill one out and just see what happens," Parks said.

Parks, who was just one of many Fort Scottians who bought tickets Wednesday, used the birthdates of relatives to add a little luck to her picks.

Kortney Lawrence, who works at Pump 'N Pete's, said it wouldn't surprise her if her store's total sales for the day surpassed $1,500.

As of Wednesday, www.kslottery.com listed the Powerball jackpot at $550 million, making it the largest Powerball jackpot in history and Fort Scott residents joined the frenzy in hopes getting a piece of the pie.

On Tuesday, the jackpot was increased from an estimated $425 million to $500 million, based on strong sales in the 44 lottery jurisdictions that offer Powerball.

In a news release Wednesday, officials said the cash lump sum payment on the jackpot would be an estimated $327 million. According to the Kansas Lottery website, Southeast Kansas has already claimed a $10,000 winner last Saturday in the Powerball drawing.

The release also said Powerball sales in Kansas for Wednesday's drawing had reached $3.624 million as of 6 p.m., with several hours left for players to purchase tickets.

"We're going to have another huge day today, with sales continuing right up until the cut-off time of 8:59 p.m. tonight," said Kansas Lottery Deputy Executive Director Neysa Thomas on Wednesday.

According to the website, if a Kansas ticket were the single winning ticket in Wednesday's drawing, and the ticket holder chose the cash lump sum, the winner would receive a check for approximately $229 million after paying approximately $16 million in state taxes and $82 million in federal taxes.

Lottery officials also reminded players that the jackpot wasn't the only prize up for grabs in Wednesday's Powerball drawing. They also said that in addition to the record jackpot prize, hundreds of thousands of players will win secondary prizes at cash levels ranging from $4 to $1 million. The Powerball drawing was conducted in Tallahassee, Fla., at 9:59 p.m. Central time.



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