Souadou Diallo has been selling hundreds of Powerball tickets recently at the Providence Road convenience store where she works. But deep down, she hopes that shes the one who holds the big winning ticket.
Diallos strategy to win the $425 million jackpot the largest in the games history is to use her loved ones birthdays as numbers.
The chance of winning Wednesdays Powerball drawing is 1 in 175 million, according to North Carolina Education Lottery spokesman Van Denton. But such long odds havent stopped residents from buying tickets.
It only takes that one chance. Thats all it takes, resident Timothy Funderburk said. Why cant I be that one?
Since the current Powerball began at $40 million on Oct. 6, North Carolina stores have sold $26 million in tickets through Nov. 24, Denton said.
Forty-two states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands all play the Powerball. Wednesday will be the 16th drawing.
The largest Powerball to date was collected on Feb. 18, 2006. Eight employees at a Nebraska meat-packing plant collected $365 million.
Karima Fleming, an employee at a Circle K in uptown, said she expects Wednesday to be the busiest day for Powerball purchases.
People normally buy more tickets when its this high, she said.
Most will likely have the computer randomly select numbers for them, she said.
I figure the computers are going to be the ones that choose the number anyway so might as well go with them, Funderburk said.
Many patrons purchasing tickets on Monday said they could not fathom what they would do with so much money.
Funderburk said he would pay to have his church build a multipurpose room. Diallo said she would buy a house.
Id probably be in shock for a long time, Bobby McCumbee, 46, said. I wouldnt know what to do with it. But my wife would probably figure it out.