Powerball players try to beat the odds
by Lindsay Field
November 28, 2012 05:30 AM | 2717 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Shonda Henderson of Bridgeport, Conn., gets help from her best friend, Clara Wade of Marietta, in filling out her Powerball numbers Tuesday at the Chevron on Cobb Parkway.<br>Staff/Emily Barnes
Shonda Henderson of Bridgeport, Conn., gets help from her best friend, Clara Wade of Marietta, in filling out her Powerball numbers Tuesday at the Chevron on Cobb Parkway.
Staff/Emily Barnes
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MARIETTA — Even though the Powerball lottery jackpot has reached a record $500 million, lines of customers weren’t wrapped around buildings Tuesday like they were in March, when Mega Millions topped more than $625 million.

“Friday we were pretty busy, but not like it was a few months ago,” said Muhammad Majid, who co-owns New Country Store off Johnson Ferry Road in northeast Cobb.

Majid believes the crowds haven’t been as hectic because customers are still focused on the Thanksgiving holiday.

However, his store still sold about 25,000 of the $2 tickets last week, and he expects a rush before tonight’s drawing.

Jim Niarchos of east Cobb said he’s bought tickets in three stores.

“I’m superstitious, I guess,” he said.

The 57-year-old marketing and advertising consultant said he only plays the lottery when the winnings get into the high figures like this one.

“There was just so much publicity about it going up and up, I thought I’d do it just for fun,” he said.

If he were to win, Niarchos said he’d use it to help the community.

“If somebody wins that kind of money, it has to be divine intervention or destiny,” he said. “You have an obligation and responsibility to do something good with it, so I’d give quite a bit to charity and look for things I can do to give back and help people.”

Niarchos also said he’d hire the “best tax attorney” he could so he’d know how to best hang on to his winnings.

“I have four daughters, so I’d like to set aside something for my children and future grandchildren,” he said.

Vicki McGuyrt is new to playing the lottery but still has high hopes that she purchased one of the winning tickets Tuesday.

“I bought three tickets, but by (Wednesday), I’ll buy at least $20 worth,” she said.

McGuyrt, who is visiting her daughter in Cobb, said she decided to play after watching the news and hearing about the long lines of people waiting to purchase the winning ticket.

“I thought ‘well, I should get one,’” she said.

If she were to win, McGuyrt said she’d sell her house in Thomasville and move up to the Marietta area to be near her 4-year-old grandson and expectant daughter.

“I’m retired from teaching, so I don’t have anything holding me back,” she said.

McGuyrt would also like to buy a new car to replace her nearly 15-year-old Jeep and help out the homeless.

“I’d like to help people that are less fortunate than me,” she said.

Fifty-year-old Teresa Chapman, a Marietta paralegal, said she’s been playing since the Georgia Lottery started.

“I’ve never hit the big one,” the Hiram resident said. “The largest amount I’ve ever won was $2,500.”

Chapman bought 20 tickets at a Citgo on the corner of Roswell and Fairground streets Tuesday, but her husband also went in with some co-workers at a local Home Depot to buy more.

“I’m not sure how many more they purchased, but it’s quite a bit,” she said.

If she were to win, Chapman also said she’d quit her job, buy a new car and probably move back to Florida where she grew up.

“My friends all say the same,” he said. “They also said they would play golf. We play all the time and would hopefully get to play every day if we won.”

Kimberly Starks, a spokeswoman with Georgia Lottery, said the estimated cash value for the $500 million Powerball is about $327 million.

Players must have all five winning numbers plus the Powerball number in order to win the jackpot prize. Starks said $2 million in tickets have been sold in Georgia as of Monday.

The last Powerball jackpot was won Oct. 3 in Delaware for $50 million. The previous record was $365 million in 2006 and was won in Nebraska.
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