BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - The jackpot for the Powerball and Mega Millions lottery is quickly climbing with each jackpot approaching $300 million on the next drawings, which are this weekend.
The Mega Millions jackpot available Friday night is $276 million. The Powerball drawing on Saturday, Dec. 12 will be worth $277 million with a cash option of $210.8 million.
Nobody won Wednesday’s Powerball, so that jackpot is also in the $270 million range. That’s a lot of money a Mississippian can win simply by visiting a local convenience store and buying a ticket. Ticket sales are increasing at stores, not just in the number of people buying tickets but also the number of tickets each person is buying.
The increase in lottery ticket sales is expected to keep going up as the jackpot continues to climb.
In the Mega Millions lottery, players may pick six numbers from two separate pools of numbers - five different numbers from 1 to 70 (the white balls) and one number from 1 to 25 (the gold Mega Ball) - or select Easy Pick/Quick Pick. You win the jackpot by matching all six winning numbers in a drawing.
The Powerball jackpot grows until it is won. Players select five numbers from 1 to 69; and one Powerball number from 1 to 26.
The odds of winning are pretty slim but Gulfport Resident Sherry Thompson says she’ll be buying a ticket and already has plans for the winnings.
”I will quit my job. I’ll stop working. I’ll help my family out and everything and we’ll be good and help homeless people and everything,” she said. “Just do a whole lot with it and everything. I wouldn’t change myself on the inside, but I will be different because I won.”
The lines at many convenient stores throughout Gulfport and BIloxi were not too long Thursday evening but with the Mega millions drawing happening Friday night and the Powerball on Saturday, many clerks are anticipating more customers as the day continues.