Millions take a shot at $550M Powerball lottery jackpot

ABILENE, Texas - Millions of people around the nation took a gamble at the $550 million Powerball jackpot Wednesday.

"Well, it seems like everybody else is playing it and I haven't played it in a long time cause I didn't like my odds, but I'm driving across the country, so I figured I'd stop at some of these off the wall places and take a shot," said Joseph Moraldi who bought his tickets in Arizona.

"I really don't play and I was like 'what the heck  I'll just try a couple of them,'" said Keith Wood who bought tickets around 7:30 in Abilene Wednesday night.  

"When it gets that high you just got to play," said Kenneth Rhodes who purchased his tickets Wednesday afternoon.  

The multi-state lottery went up $100 million since Tuesday because of a spike in ticket sales. A jackpot winner who chooses the cash option would get more than $360 million.

Those who played the lottery in Abilene said they already had some idea what they would do with the money in case they win big Wednesday night.

"Probably take a vacation, a long vacation," Moraldi said.

"I thought if I played and I won, I would retire. Maybe buy an island," said Rhodes.

"I actually have hopes of starting my own business," said Jacob Tiner who had already purchased Powerball tickets before Wednesday.

Powerball officials said there is a 75 percent chance the winning numbers will be drawn Wednesday night. The odds of winning the jackpot are less than one in 175 million, but millions flocked to convenience stores Wednesday with hopes that they would buy the winning ticket.

"I guess my chance is just as good as anybody else's," said Rhodes

"It'd be nice, but you know… we'll see. I hope so," said Wood.

"The odds are not in my favor, but hopefully so," said Tiner

If no one wins Wednesday, Saturday's drawing could be as high as $900 million.

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