Noor Ahmed said once the Powerball jackpot eclipsed $400 million, she noticed an increase in lottery ticket sales at the gas station she manages in Elburn.
As of Tuesday, the Powerball jackpot reached $500 million, resulting in steady ticket sales statewide, according to a news release from the Illinois Lottery
Within a half-hour Tuesday, more than $200,000 worth of Powerball tickets had been sold in Illinois.
Ahmed, manager at Mobil in Elburn, said the largest prize offered in the Powerball game had driven in quite a few new lottery ticket customers. She said she also made it a habit to tell customers that the jackpot had reached $500 million.
“They can hope if they buy,” she said. “They can’t hope if they don’t buy.”
If a single player wins the jackpot, the Powerball would be the largest prize ever awarded by a lottery, according to the news release.
Jim Allen, a store clerk at GasMart USA in Sugar Grove, said it’s common for lottery ticket sales to increase when a jackpot gets really high. He said that on Monday night, one person bought $72 worth of Powerball lottery tickets, which cost $2 apiece.
“When it gets up there, we see a lot of people,” he said.
It was only last spring that the Mega Millions jackpot reached its highest level in history. On March 30, the jackpot reached $656 million, which was split three ways. One Illinois resident from Red Bud received nearly $119 million from the jackpot.
A person who buys a Powerball ticket has a 1 in 175 million chance of winning. A single winner could receive as much as $229 million after withholding taxes.
The Powerball numbers will be drawn at 9:59 p.m. today.