HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Imagine buying a brand new mansion, a tropical getaway, or even buying the whole island. Sounds pretty great, right? Many Pennsylvanians are dreaming of how they would spend a Powerball jackpot, which is now at a record $1.5 billion. "That's a figure that you can't even get it right in your brain, that kind of money," said Sandy Pamplin of York, as she purchased two tickets. "If you get that kind of money for paying $2, that's like getting it for free."
A steady flow of people hit up the Rutter's on Pennsylvania Avenue in York County for their tickets. Some say the location is lucky. "This store has been pretty lucky, so I stopped by while I was in the area and to grab a couple of them," said Cheryl Farris of York County.
Although the odds of winning are slim, there are some steps experts want the hopefuls who are feeling lucky, and the lucky winner(s) to be aware of.
First, sign the back of your ticket, so no one can steal it. Lottery officials also recommend getting professional advice before claiming your winnings. "This is an enormous jackpot. Most people wouldn't know how to protect that money for the long-run to take care of themselves, and their loved ones, and charities they would like to help. I think it's important to consult a professional who is used to dealing that amount of money," said Pennsylvania Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko.
Experts can help you manage your winnings and to budget for those things on your list. They can also help you decided whether to take the lump sum or the yearly payments. "That decision has major consequences. Your financial expert or tax professional can help," said Financial Expert Bob Dwyer.
According to the Pennsylvania Lottery, if Wednesday’s jackpot is won by a Pennsylvania player, it would become the state’s 20th multi-state jackpot win. The Pennsylvania Lottery has sold 17 jackpot-winning Powerball tickets and two jackpot-winning Mega Millions tickets.
The largest Powerball prize Pennsylvania has ever awarded was a $110.2 million cash-value jackpot claimed by a New Jersey couple in May, 2004. The state’s largest Powerball group win was a $107.5 million cash jackpot shared by 48 transit workers in the Philadelphia area in April, 2012.
You can check your numbers, and find more important steps to take if you win, on the Pennsylvania Lottery website.