Lotto Fever

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Jordan Coley, Sports Editor

Can you imagine waiting in line for hours on end just for a small slip of paper? Thousands, perhaps millions of people have been doing exactly that. In recent weeks, the hype surrounding the PowerBall Lottery has filled much of the media.

Last week, a record breaking jackpot of 900 million was up for grabs. Despite the astounding odds against them, many purchased several tickets. In fact, people had better odds of winning an Academy Award than winning the lottery. How about these? There were better odds of becoming a saint or an astronaut. While these facts were known, millions of people showed up to gas stations and convenience stores throughout the country.

The Powerball is played in 44 states across the country. Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada and Utah have opted to not participate in the lottery. In response to this, many traveled across state lines to play. Interestingly enough, the lottery is also played in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Also, Canadians were getting in on the lottery buzz. Cities on the border of states not participating saw a large increase in tickets sold.

So what do you really win? Out of the 1.6 billion dollar jackpot, each of the three winners will receive $560 million. Here’s how that number was reached. The government takes a 40% cut in the form of an income tax. The winner has two choices. Option one involves a $930 million dollar lump sum payout. Option two includes payment over 29 years.

In the most recent drawing, three jack pot winners were pulled. Locally, a winner was chosen in Chino Hills. Jakob Timmins (12) thinks, “it is crazy that a winning ticket was chosen so close to Yorba Linda”. Along with the winner receiving a large payout, 7/11 received one million dollars. The store owner appeared as surprised as anyone would expect after winning a million dollars. Another winning ticket was sold in Florida. The last was sold in Tennessee. It still hasn’t been determined exactly which store in the small town of Melbourne, Tennessee that the ticket was sold at. Since the drawing last week, no winner has come forward. In California, a nurse announced she had the winning ticket. The local media jumped right on the story. However, it was a false alarm. Her son had tricked her into thinking she had the winning ticket. The ticket was given to her by her boss. When asked about the situation, the boss said he felt terrible and wanted to pay for her to go on a vacation. Winners have a year from the drawing date to claim their winnings.