INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Strong sales in Indiana and the other 42 Powerball states has pushed the jackpot to $360 million. Hoosier Lottery retailers lead the nation in selling jackpot winning tickets, with 38.
With $2, you can win $360 million or more. Kevin Nelis is buying $20 worth.
"I could use it," he says. "I would buy a fishing boat in Florida," he says with a laugh.
Those dreams are enough to keep the lottery machines at Bucks IGA on the south side of Indianapolis busy all day.
Kathy Murphy runs one of the machines.
"Quite busy," she says. "Steady, steady, steady and we have two machines running," says Murphy.
Hoosiers are spending. The reason, says Cody Urick, is simple.
"If I don't hit this, I'll never know what it's like not to go to work on Monday," he says.
But no matter the size of the jackpot, Al Larsen of the Hoosier Lottery wants you to remember, "the odds of winning that jackpot prize never changes. It's always around one in 175 million."
This is actually better than it used to be. Up until changes in 2012, the odds of winning were one in 195 million. There are fewer Powerball numbers now. And the cost of a ticket is $2 instead of $1, which is why jackpots are growing more quickly.
"We're in very rare territory here for Powerball," says Al Larsen. "This is going to be one of the biggest three jackpots of all time when someone wins it at this point."
Winning has problems of its own. 24-Hour News 8 has followed the case involving east side hairstylists in a pool that won a $9 million Hoosier Lotto jackpot in March. The ticket buyer claims she bought the winning ticket for herself. Now no one has the jackpot as the fight over it continues in court.
"The most important thing is understanding exactly what the rules are of your pool. Understand the rules. How you're playing, to make sure you're all on the same page for the moment when that ticket becomes a winner," Larsen says.
And make copies of the pool tickets before the drawing. Then you can dream. Just like Kathy Murphy at Bucks IGA does.
"Why? Because I want a day off. A real day off. I'm going to end up in the white sandy beaches somewhere," she says, laughing.
If you find you have the winning ticket, sign it immediately. That establishes ownership. No one else can cash it.
The largest Powerball jackpot ever was won on November 28, 2012. It was $587.5 million. There were two winning tickets for that jackpot.
Hoosiers have until 9:58 p.m. Wednesday to purchase a ticket.
WISH-TV will have the winning numbers tonight on 24-Hour News 8 at 11 p.m. and on WISHTV.com.
State police are warning Indiana residents about a phone scam that has been reported in central Indiana where grandparents are swindled out of money by con artists who tell them about a fake emergency.
Eskenazi Health hospital will officially open for business in downtown Indianapolis on Saturday while nearby Wishard Memorial Hospital will begin to close.
State police say a southern Indiana man has been arrested after a six-hour standoff that began when he fired several shots at family members.