Powerball debuts across Texas

February 4, 2010 3:30:02 AM PST
You don't have to drive to Louisiana anymore to play Powerball. As of this past Sunday, you can buy tickets here in Texas. Wednesday's estimated jackpot was $116.6 million. The numbers are 17, 22, 36, 37, 52. The Power Ball is 24.

Move over Mega Millions, the Powerball has come to town. Now there are two options for a big jackpot and some people are already dreaming.

"Really excited when I found out tonight is the first night for the jackpot," said Brad Booker.

At this southeast side gas station Wednesday night, the tickets were rolling from the register.

"We believe it's going to be exciting. We believe it's going to be good. A lot of people like to play when there is a big pot," said store owner Mokatar Imouhdine.

And some were already making plans for the $116.6 million jackpot.

"I'd help my family and some friends," said Louis McBride.

The cash option payout would be around $56 million. For that money you could fly round trip, first class on Continental to Honolulu not just once, but more than 20,000 times.

In River Oaks, the cash prize would buy you ten homes like this 11,000 square foot mansion in one of the most affluent zip codes around.

You could certainly go places with the millions. If fancy cars are your thing, you could have 33 of the most expensive cars in the world like this Bugatti Veyron with a price tag of $1.7 million.

Or if you are feeling generous you could give more than $800 to every fan in a sold-out Rice Stadium. Until now, states had to choose between Mega Millions and Powerball.

A spokesperson for the state lottery system says bringing a second, multi-state game to Texas is a win for the state too.

"We estimate that in its first full year the Powerball game could provide as much as $35 million in additional revenue to the foundation school fund which supports public education in the state," said Robyn Smith of the Texas Lottery Commission.

But for most of the people buying tickets, it's simply a dream that drives them to the counter.

"I love to travel, so I'm sure I'd be doing a lot of traveling around the world. Look at me, I'm already planning it out," said Booker.

The odds of winning the Mega Millions are actually slightly better than Powerball - 1 in 175 million compared to Powerball at 1 in 195 million.

The largest Powerball jackpot in U.S. history is $365 million. The largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history is a Mega Millions drawing roughly three years ago at $390 million.


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