Powerball mania keeping AL, GA lottery players hopeful - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Powerball mania keeping AL, GA lottery players hopeful

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – Another chance for someone or a group to win a massive Powerball jackpot Wednesday night.

No one claiming this prize for weeks, but some ticket holders in Columbus and East Alabama feel luck may be on their side.

A lot of people want to claim Wednesday's jackpot of $430 million.

NL9 actually stopped by a gas station that's a popular spot for drivers in Georgia and Alabama, and asked some eager people a few questions about their chances to win the lottery.

Question 1: When you pick a lottery ticket, do you pick your own numbers of just ask for the "quick pick?"

Most of the people we talked to let the machine decide their fate.

"I'm not a numbers' guy," said Douglas Hall, who drove from Alabama to buy his Powerball ticket. "My luck with numbers- I don't get any. So I do quick picks."

"I just do a normal quick pick, that's it. I just go at random," said Tracey Edmonds.

"If I'm feeling my numbers," said James Williams, "I'll go in there and play them."

"It's one in a million," said Carolyn King, "so I just take my chances with the quick pick."

Question 2: Would you take the whole $430 million prize and receive it in yearly payments, or take the one-time cash option worth nearly $273 million?

It was unanimous among our group of ticket buyers. Give them their cash as soon as possible.

"Due to my age, I'd want to take it right now, take all of it at one time," Hall said.

"Give it to me in a big lump. I'd rather pay the taxes up front, don't have to worry about it later," Edmonds said.

"Me personally, I want all of mine at one time," Williams said.  "They can get their little bit, but man, that's a lot of money."

"I would definitely do the one-time lump sum just to get the taxes out of the way," King said.

And finally, question 3: What would our players do with the jackpot money if they won?

"I would probably put up a 16 foot high, electrified fence surrounding my property," Hall said half-jokingly.  "Once you win something, everybody you never knew becomes either your friend or your relative."

Edmonds' plan would be to treat his wife to the trip of a lifetime.

"I am taking my wife on the best vacation ever in her life. Wherever she wants to go."

Williams said the first thing he'd do is take care of him mom and grandma. "Then," he said, "we go from there, invest in a lot of things, so we can turn it and make more money."

And King said she'd want to help address unemployment in Columbus.

"I would start a chain of local businesses," she said, "to help the community and kind of give back, while also supporting my family and my dreams."

All four players we spoke to live in East Alabama, and expressed their frustration at not having a chance to play the lottery in their home state.

Back in 1999, voters in Alabama rejected a lottery in what was a nationally publicized election.

Almost $1.2 million votes were cast in that referendum, with lottery opponents casting 54 percent of the votes. That was 100,000 more votes against the lottery than for it.

In 1999, then governor Siegelman said his proposed lottery would generate at least $150 million per year for Alabama and that money would be allotted to college tuition, voluntary Pre-K and school computers.

The winning Powerball numbers for Wednesday night are 64-43-60-09-15 and the powerball was 04.

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