DETROIT -- Lottery fever is gripping the nation again ahead of Wednesday night's Powerball drawing, with an estimated jackpot of $240 million.
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The odds of winning are 1 in 175 million -- but that hasn't dampened hopes.
"Man, if I ever won the lottery, I would buy a new home, a new car and take my mom on a dream vacation to Hawaii," 43-year-old Freddie Weathersby of Trenton, Mich. said as he waited in line Tuesday to buy a $2 Powerball ticket at a Sunoco gas station in downtown Detroit.
Drawings for the Powerball game are held at 11 p.m. every Wednesday and Saturday. If one player wins Wednesday's jackpot, he or she can accept payment in an annuitized prize over 30 payments or a lump sum of about $159.7 million.
Michigan and Georgia are among 42 states, along with Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands, that participate in Powerball.
Lottery business was steady at Wally's Convenience and Deli on Congress Street in Detroit.
"People have their own weird superstitions when it comes to playing the lottery," said the store's 22-year-old manager Hisham Haydous of Dearborn. "For instance, some customers prefer not to buy their tickets on the day of the drawing when everyone else is buying theirs because they feel their odds are better if they do it on a different day. I say more power to them."
Sharon Spezia, an employee at J. Healan Baker, an insurance agency in the Penobscot Building, said if she won, she would aid those who are less fortunate.
"I would purchase a new vehicle to chauffeur around older people or the handicapped so they can visit the doctor or buy groceries at the store," the Plymouth resident said. "I believe it's much more important to look out for the welfare of others."
(Detroit Free Press)