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Powerball players have big plans for potential winnings

(MCT) — BLOOMINGTON — Jerry Miller truly believes his life will change Wednesday night.

Full of confidence, the Bloomington resident walked into Huck’s Convenience Store at Main Street and Oakland Avenue Tuesday morning and selected the six numbers he thinks will be drawn in Wednesday’s record Powerball drawing. If he’s right, and he is the only one with those numbers, he will win more than $500 million.

“I’m going to pay some debts and then have a big party,” said Miller. “Then, I’m going to enjoy life. Oh, I’m going to give some to charity, too. I’m going to help somebody.”

Miller isn’t the only one with high hopes and big plans.

“We will be busy on Wednesday,” said Huck’s Manager Jana Graham. “Everybody wants to win. We hope so, too. It would be great for us if someone wins.”

The odds of winning the Powerball drawing are 1 in 175,223,510 for anyone who purchases one $2 ticket.

But the overwhelming odds didn’t stop Blair Sullivan of Normal from buying $10 worth of tickets Tuesday at the Circle K on Main Street in Normal.

“I am playing because I want something fun to talk about on Facebook,” she said.

Her friend, Cindy Shaw of Normal, also bought $10 worth of tickets, hoping just one of them will allow her to reach her goal of becoming a millionaire before she turns 30.

“My original plan was to marry a millionaire, but that doesn’t seem to be working quite according to plan, yet,” she said. “I guess this is Plan B.”

Watch out if Barry Livingston of Bloomington wins the jackpot. He stopped at Casey’s on Main Street in Normal for his chance at joining the ranks of the superrich.

“Biggest party you have ever seen,” he said. “I think if I win, I am going to grab my wife and get on the first plane to Hawaii. You won’t see me around here again until it’s time to pick up that big check they give to you.”

Mike Ralston, a laid-off construction worker from Bloomington, bought five tickets for last week’s Powerball and has another five tickets this week. He hopes for at least a piece of the prize.

“If I win, I will use the money to keep going until work picks up again in the spring. Obviously if I win big, it won’t matter how much work comes around because I won’t have to do anything,” he said.

Lynn Necessary of Heyworth bought five Quick Pick tickets on the way to her job in Normal. She figured the potential to win millions playing Powerball was worth the $10 investment.

“I play quite often,” she said, adding if she wins, she and her husband will retire and travel, but also share their winnings with family and their favorite charities.

Jasmin Cole, an Illinois Wesleyan University senior from Louisville, Ky., said she’d never bought a lottery ticket before, but she plans to this time.

“I could pay off my student loans,” she said, adding like any good daughter, she’d also “take my mom on a nice vacation — some place like the Bahamas where it’s 80 degrees all the time.”

Edith Brady-Lunny, Lenore Sobota and Paul Swiech contributed to this story.

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