Powerball Prize Now $500 Million

By Haley Burton
By Matt Porter

November 27, 2012 Updated Nov 27, 2012 at 6:31 PM EST

(WBNG Binghamton) This week's hottest ticket in town is a lottery ticket.

With a jackpot hitting $500 million, the largest in Powerball history, many feel just a little lucky.

Assistant Manager Sarbgit Singh of the Arash Mini Mart in the Town of Union said he sees all sorts of people coming in.

"Everybody comes, even you ask them they buy it and they don't want it," said Singh, "if you ask them, they will buy it."

Even though Powerball now costs a dollar more than its counterpart, Mega Millions, store owners say that doesn't matter when the jackpot is ten times bigger.

"People have more chances, if they win, they're gonna win big," Singh said, "So they don't care about a dollar more, and they're getting a lot more."

The price increase has pushed Powerball jackpots higher, quicker.

And the New York Lottery says it's not just the winners who take something away. Powerball has generated almost $300 million for New York public schools.

"Absolutely, it's increased the aid to education since we started it," said the New York State Lottery's Yolanda Vega. "Since all the states made it obviously two dollars. It's increased the aid to education in our state for sure."

This is based on strong sales across all 44 participating Powerball states plus the District of Columbia and U.S. Virgin Islands.

Out of 44 states, New Yorkers have hit the jackpot four times. Singh hopes to see another winner, maybe from his store.

"My hope is somebody wins from our state," he said, "Or from our town, or somebody from this side."

With millions going to help New York's students, the state is already a big winner.

If no one matches all six numbers drawn for Wednesday's Powerball jackpot, the jackpot will roll further into record territory.

The prize for matching the first five numbers drawn is $1,000,000.

Tickets for the Powerball drawing will remain on sale through 9 p.m. Wednesday.

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