Black Friday shoppers in many cities briefly detoured into lottery retailers, drawn off task by the prospects of winning a $325 million Powerball jackpot – the fourth-largest in the game’s history.
Chicago resident Clyde Gadlin, 65, emerged from the bustle of holiday shoppers on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue, to stop in at a 7-Eleven to buy his daily batch of Lottery tickets, including Powerball.
For him, the game is a chance to dream – a single winner’s cash payout would be nearly $213 million before taxes – and he tries not to let the long odds burst his bubble.
Lottery officials say they’re unsure what effect Thanksgiving and beginning of Christmas shopping season will have on sales, which normally pick up in the days before high-dollar drawings.
Since Powerball tickets doubled in price to $2 in January, the number of tickets sold has decreased, but the sales revenue has made up for it, increasing by about 35 percent, said Norm Lingle, chairman of the Powerball board of directors.
And as the price went up, so did the jackpots, enticing thousands across the country to play.
Recent Powerball winners include an Iowa couple that won a whopping $202 million on Sept. 26. A week later, a Delaware resident picked all six numbers for a $50 million payday.
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