Hundreds Buy Tickets for $500 Million Powerball Jackpot

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) – The Powerball drawing on Wednesday (Feb. 22) was the third-largest in Powerball history and the fifth-largest U.S. lottery prize.

The jackpot was $500 million – or half of $1 billion.

If the winner chooses the cash option, they will be almost $338 million richer, according to the Powerball website.

"Hopefully I get lucky, so I can retire and have some fun,” Tammy Katowich said Wednesday after she purchased her ticket.

Kara Lemonier bought a Powerball ticket for the first time.

"I've never won anything so I'm not gonna win now. But, you never know -- I guess it could happen,” Lemonier said.

Some have a strategy.

"I'm picking out my own numbers,” Luiz Rodriguez said.

"[I] just let the machine pick it,” Sean Haaser said.

"Whatever comes to mind -- hopefully I get lucky,” Rodriguez said.

Others said they don't have faith in the system.

"The odds are you know, you're gonna lose,” Shaun Easton said.

“Millions of people try to get Powerball tickets. The chances of getting one isn't very big,” Joe Halston said.

Gary Vickers bought $90 worth of tickets Wednesday, for himself and 15 co-workers.

“With all of us, after they take taxes out, we'll end up with about $28 million a piece,” Vickers said.

We asked everyone what they would do if they won.

"I'd probably just faint at first and then you know, have somebody throw water on me so I can wake up and see what I’ll spend it on,” Rodriguez said.

"Well I'm gonna have a party,” Haaser said, “And I'm gonna tell everybody at work that I won't see them anymore."

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