Record Powerball jackpot has Granite Staters dreaming

Union Leader Correspondent
May 17. 2013 9:20PM
Roy Everett of Epping buys his single Powerball ticket at the Xtra Mart in Epping Friday afternoon. (By JASON SCHREIBER/Union Leader Correspondent)

You have a better chance of getting hit on the head by a falling coconut than winning Powerball, experts say, but that's not stopping Granite Staters from dreaming big as they prepare for Saturday's record $600 million jackpot.

Ticket sales surged Friday as the jackpot climbed to the largest in Powerball history.

The $600 million jackpot surpasses the previous record of $587 million awarded last November.

Winners who choose the cash option will take home an estimated $379.9 million before taxes.

Lottery dreamers on their way to work began lining up around 6:30 a.m. at the Xtra Mart in Epping.

More than 300 tickets were sold in a matter of a few hours.

"Saturday will be even crazier," said Rhi Morse, Xtra Mart's manager-in-training.

Manager Lisa Discoll said one woman threw down $100 to buy 50 tickets at the request of her husband.

"Very few people are buying one or two tickets. Most people buy five," said Sam Patel, manager of the East Derry General Store.

The lottery machine was spitting out tickets all day Friday and was expected to be working overtime on Saturday.

"We know that (Saturday) is going to be really crazy," Patel said.

While many thought it was a good time to grab multiple tickets in hopes of increasing their odds of winning, Roy Everett, 62, of Epping didn't buy into the hype.

He settled for just one ticket.

If he wins, Everett said he'll retire from his job at Thermo Fisher Scientific and hop a plane to his native England to see his 90-year-old dad.

After that, he's not sure how he'd spend the rest.

"It would be difficult," he said.

Bill and Barbara Milburn of Kingston wouldn't have too much trouble spending the money.

"First and foremost I'd take care of my family," Barbara Milburn said.

Bill Milburn, a firefighter with the Kingston Fire Department, said he'd keep that job but quit his position with a security alarm company.

Their kids had bigger plans.

After using some of the winnings to build a new house, Adam Milburn, 10, said he would want a "big game room" and a movie theater. His sister, Samantha, 12, would find a way to buy the pop boy band One Direction.

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