Eye on the prize as record Powerball jackpot nears - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Record Powerball jackpot grows to $550 million

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - What would you do with $550 million? That's a question many are asking themselves as the record Powerball jackpot drawing draws closer and closer.

"These are the winning tickets I promise you I'm going to do a lot of good with it," said Peggy Gibson right after she bought tickets.  "I'm going to give a lot of money to charity, because a lot of people need it."

At sunrise on Wednesday you may have been pondering purchasing a ticket for the record Powerball jackpot drawing Wednesday night. But know that jackpot has grown again to $550 million, that's right $550 million, you may be running to the nearest lottery retailer to get your $2 ticket.

At Coastal Petro, Jeremy Welch and his coworkers dealt with lines of customers trying to buy a last second chance at becoming a millionaire.

"Within the last couple of days we've sold over 300, maybe 400 so it's grown dramatically," Welch said.

The store that sells the winning ticket gets a small portion of the winnings, but Welch said business could be better if there is no winner Wednesday night and the pot grows until the next drawing Saturday.

"If someone does hit it, then that would be good and the jackpot would start over," Welch said.  "If no one wins it would just keep growing and mean more sales."

The odds of you winning the jackpot are 1 in 175,000,000.  To put that in perspective check out the odds of you having another life event listed below.

-1:10 million chance of becoming President

-1:1 million chance of getting struck by lightening

-1:6.1 million chance you could die from being stung by a bee, hornet, or wasp.

-1:12,500 chance of dying in an asteroid apocalypse

-1:1.5 million chance of becoming a famous movie star


But eventually someone, somewhere will have the winning ticket.  So we asked what our Facebook fans would do with all that money and got lots of responses.

WMBF News Facebook fan Angela Vaught Montgomery says she would, "Pay off my bills and then do some Christmas shopping. Would also do some shopping for families that are in need so they could have a good Christmas also."

And Angela Mabry Thompkins agrees, saying she would also start with paying the bills, but then she would, "Give my parents and in laws money to pay off their stuff…set money aside for my children's future…open up a after school program for children with ADHD/ADD!"

"Help all those who are less fortunate than I am," explains Karen Kraft Knopff.

Annette Crawford Hanley says she would, "Buy my own house 1st then I would get a really nice handicap van so my husband could ride comfortable, set up college funds for the kids in my family, pay my parents home off, donate some to charities and hide the rest in mason jars…LOL seriously put the rest in a IRA or CD."

Terri Blackwood is certainly prepared for the drawing, remarking that he bought his Powerball ticket a couple of days ago, and thinks it's a big "IF" to when. And if he wins, he'll be taking a small vacation with his family over the Christmas holiday "to celebrate the important things in life."

Max Wills is also looking to share the love with the winnings, saying he would, "Take care of a lot of my friends, make sure that friends and family have the proper healthcare, give Jesus his share, and help different charities."

On the other hand, Jeff Baltenbach said he would, "Buy a mansion with a cave underneath and start fighting crime!"

The Associated Press reports there is a 75 percent chance someone's ticket will match the winning numbers drawn tonight.

To check out the odds of winning Wednesday night's Powerball drawing estimated at $550 million and watch the countdown to when the numbers are drawn, visit the lottery section of wmbfnews.com.

Copyright 2012 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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