YONKERS, N.Y. – A record Powerball jackpot has Yonkers residents rushing to the nearest lotto retailer and dreaming of newfound riches.
Store owners said lines of hopeful millionaires were out the door Tuesday on the eve of the $500 million drawing.
And it is likely to be even worse on Wednesday as last-minute lotto players stock up on winning numbers, said Dave Sarran, owner of Main Street’s Rivertown Liquors.
“Tomorrow evening you won’t even be able to get into the store,” he said.
Thanks to soaring sales in the past days, lottery officials announced Tuesday they will increase the Powerball jackpot, up from $425 million. The new $500 million prize pool makes Wednesday’s drawing the richest Powerball jackpot ever.
And most lotto hopefuls are laying down the dough in hopes of a big payday, dropping as much as $200 on tickets. Sarran said that is not uncommon when the jackpots are this big.
“You get a lot of office pools but even some individual people buying $200 tickets,” he said.
The odds of winning the growing prize pool are slim: one in 175 million. But that hasn’t stopped Alex Albright from dreaming what he would be with the new fortune.
“Someone’s got to win,” he said. “Why not me?”
And if he was the lucky winner?
“I’d probably buy a private island,” he said.
Albright may just be in luck as the Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean is on sale for $48 million.
And if you need a private plane to get there, you could buy a small fleet of the world's most expensive jets for a measly $59.9 million per plane.
For those who want to stay a little closer to home, sports fans could buy season tickets for everyone in the bleacher seats at Yankee Stadium for the next 15 years.
Mitch Ziomkowski, however, said he would be content with the front row.
“I’d have season tickets behind home plate for life,” the Yankees fan said.
Even Sarran, the liquor store owner, said he hasn’t been spared from lotto fever. He plans to grab a couple tickets tomorrow on his way out of work.
“I need the money too,” he laughed.