Cindy Horton peeled off another Powerball ticket for a customer Tuesday when she stopped and looked at the machine. And looked again at tonight's jackpot amount. The drawing is at 10:59.
"Oh," said Horton, who manages Belko Foods, on Grafton Road. "It's up to $500 million. Honey, you gotta go change the sign."
"Got it," said her co-worker, Stefan Hurst, who went out went out in fog and snow flurries that settled over the store parking lot to up the ante. "Five hundred million. What would you do with all that ?"
As that ever-expanding jackpot showed Tuesday, scores of people across the country were only too willing to find out.
At her store, customers were lining to see the tally at the place where lightning has already struck once.
Last December, the store sold a $1 million ticket in the multistate Mega Millions game to a lone customer.
Because she's on the other side of the counter, Horton has a reverse look at the psychology behind any jackpot-fueled lottery run.
"I hope we sell another one," she said. "And I hope it's to one of our customers."
The establishment that sells the winning ticket gets a commission -- and among the fiscal perks of that package is a $100,000 cash payout.
That's some nice folding money, Hurst said, should it be shared among employees.
"I'd pay off some bills," he said. "Maybe buy a used car."
The dreams of Powerball purchasers in the store were a little bigger -- but just as practical.
Dave Stevens, of Morgantown, who won $4,000 playing the lottery a few years ago, plans on putting steps and handrails, as it were, up and down the fiscal cliff for a lot relatives and friends.
"I'd help a lot of people out," he said. He also had the same musings as Hurst.
"I'm 65 years old," he said. "What would I need all that money for?"
Steve Helmick would help people too. The Fairmont man drives a truck for a soft drink bottler, and he'd deliver the cheer too.
Just let him get adjusted first, he said, grinning.
"I'd retire," he said. "Immediately. And if I survived the first two weeks, I'd start looking at other things I could do."
The odds of winning a Powerball jackpot are 1 in 175 million.
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