Giovannia Gonzalez can think of plenty to do with $600 million, but for some reason, ice cream for dinner sounds the best.
Gonzalez, 26, was drawn to the OnCue Express gas station during her lunch break Friday by the allure of big money and big dreams. It was the first time she bought a lottery ticket, tempted by the biggest jackpot in Powerball history: $600 million and rising.
“I'm just feeling lucky today,” she said. “I'm sure that is everybody's excuse to play the lottery, but I could do a lot with this money. Pay off my house, buy a new car because mine is a junker and then put money away for my kids to go to college. Definitely more ice cream for dinner.”
The chances of winning the latest jackpot are 1 in 175.2 million, according to lottery officials. Meaning you're more likely to get struck by lightning (1 in a million), become president (1 in 10 million) or get drafted by the Thunder (1 in 6.8 million.)
But Carl Taylor, 64, remains undeterred.
Taylor was in Oklahoma City on Friday to visit his son and grandson, who is graduating from elementary school.
“Luck ain't got nothing to do with it,” Taylor said. “It really has to do with whatever the will of God is. I don't know if I could win but I'll take the chance. Who knows what could happen?”
Katy Smith, with the Oklahoma Lottery Commission, said sales usually soar before a drawing of this size.
“When it gets high like this, everybody wants to try,” she said. “You have to play to win; you might as well try.”
Smith said out of the four Powerball winners in Oklahoma, the largest amount won was $105.8 million in 2007.
‘I like taking chances'
Anika Sadler went to the gas station representing her entire office, paying the $2 ticket price plus an additional dollar for the power play option on each ticket. She left with more than $200 worth of tickets.
“We play a lot whenever it gets up pretty high,” she said. “It's a fun thing to do in the office. Plus I'm a gambler. I like taking chances.”
As people continue to stream in to buy more tickets, Taylor pondered over what he would buy if he won $600 million.
He said he isn't worried about the pitfalls that some lottery winners fall into. He wouldn't blow the money all at once or loan it out to every person he's ever known.
“It doesn't have anything to do with cars or living condition,” he said. “All I wanna be is comfortable. I'm not excited about being rich, I guess you would say it's the thrill of winning.
“Every man wants to be comfortable, I'm just comfortable with living and that's enough for me.”