WARREN - Jami Hammond, shift manager at the Speedway on East Market Street, said she expects the checkout lines to starting getting longer and longer today and Saturday as word gets out that the Powerball Jackpot has reached more than $550 million dollars.
On Thursday, people stopped throughout the day for gasoline and food as usual, but also for Powerball lottery tickets.
''There were no really long lines, just people throughout the day. I expect to get a lot more tomorrow and a lot on Saturday. It was steady today,'' Hammond said.
Tribune Chronicle / Bob Coupland
Warren resident Candace Catheline purchases a Powerball ticket Thursday from Asya Williams, a customer service representative at Speedway on East Market Street as the Powerball has reached more than $550 million.
She suspects there may be longer lines out the door on Saturday because more people wait until the last minute or as she has seen in the past a group of people at a place of work will all chip in money at the end of the work day on Friday and get their ticket after work. The drawing is Saturday evening.
Powerball is sold by 45 state lotteries, and is coordinated by the Multi-State Lottery Association. The minimum advertised jackpot is $40 million, and it has accounted for six of the 10 largest lottery jackpots in history.
Craig Whitman of Niles said, ''Winning would be nice,'' not only for himself but for others as well. While he is a regular player of the Rolling Cash 5, he said couldn't miss the chance to play the Powerball.
''If I were to win, I would be able to help out a whole lot of people. Every now and then when the Powerball gets up there like this, I like to get a ticket or two,'' Whitman said.
Candace Catheline of Warren said she plays the Ohio Lottery often, but not usually the Powerball.
''My husband and I play the lottery regularly. He plays more than me. A group of us at work play the lottery and I decided to get one of the Powerball tickets because it is so high. I'm getting near retirement from Warren city schools. Anyone could use the money,'' Catheline said.
Cortland resident Amy Dean said she had heard about how high the Powerball had gotten on television and saw other people in line getting the ticket, so she decided now was the time.
''I wouldn't have thought about it until I heard other people talking about it while waiting in line,'' she said.
This marks the first time Dean said she has ever played the Powerball.
The Powerball jackpot jumped Thursday to more than $550 million, a major climb less than a day after the latest drawing produced no winning ticket. The jackpot now ranks as the second-largest in Powerball history and third-largest overall.