Not even odds of 120 million to 1 are keeping people away from buying Powerball tickets today, not with a jackpot of $280 million up for grabs Wednesday.
"It's been just crazy in here," said College Square convenience store manager Kristi Barnett, whose store has seen lottery sales increase almost 10 times in the past few days. "Today it's picking up because everybody is out and about. This Wednesday it will be nuts."
Nobody in the 25 states where Powerball are sold had the winning numbers for the $215 million jackpot Saturday.
Barnett's store in Baxter is one of a handful of stores selling lottery tickets that will be open Christmas Day.
"It's an advantage to us," said Barnett, because not only does the high jackpot bring in customers but the store that sells the winning ticket also gets money. "I keep telling people that. But when they say, "Can you guarantee that (a winning ticket?,' I have to say, 'Nope.'"
The Holiday Station Store on County Road 3 in northeast Brainerd is another that will be open, and store owner Joan Grunewald said she is also seeing quite an increase.
"It seems like there's a lot more big pools -- $200-$300 dollars at a time -- with people getting money together and ordering tickets," said Grunewald.
Winning the lottery would be a nice Christmas present, Grunewald said, and even she bought a few tickets as presents.
"That's be a nice present, if someone actually won it after giving it as a present," said Grunewald.
People can buy Powerball lottery tickets until 9 p.m. Wednesday. The drawing will be at 9:50 p.m.
A single $280 million jackpot winner who selects the 30-year annuity option would receive $6.1 million per year.
If the winner chooses the cash option, he or she will receive a check for $99.5 million after withholding. Jackpot winners have 60 days after claiming the prize to decide between the cash or annuity option.
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