ELKHART — Lavish vacations, flashy cars and new houses — gas station clerks around Elkhart have been hearing it all from customers hoping to win the $500 million Powerball jackpot.
There has been a steady stream of millionaire hopefuls buying lottery tickets over the past few days at the 7-Eleven gas station just north of downtown Elkhart, according to store clerk Amy Nye. She expects there to be a last-minute rush of people purchasing tickets before the drawing tonight, Nov. 28.
Strong lottery ticket sales nationwide boosted the jackpot to $500 million on Tuesday, up from $425 million on Friday, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association. The prize is the largest Powerball jackpot ever.
“Some people are buying five to 10 tickets at a time,” said Aman Singh, a store clerk at the Phillips 66 gas station at 2400 S. Main St.
Some customers have even visited the gas station multiple times in the past couple of days to buy tickets, Singh said.
The Hoosier Lottery generated $211 million in surplus revenue that reduced the motor vehicle excise tax in Indiana in fiscal year 2012, according to a news release. The revenue also was used to support pension funds for retired Indiana teachers, police and firefighters. Prizes for people who tried their luck added up to $533 million, and Indiana retailers earned $60 million from the sales of lottery tickets and games.