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May 15, 2013

Powerball ticket sales surge

Lottery players hope to be that 1 in 175 million

SALEM — Bob Partridge has spent more than $1,500 on Powerball tickets over the last decade.

In all those years, he’s won just $10.

That didn’t stop the 69-year-old Pelham man from testing his luck one more time. Partridge was among the many who flocked to local stores yesterday to buy tickets in advance of tonight’s drawing of a jackpot that was at $360 million yesterday afternoon.

The jackpot is the third largest in Powerball history, according to New Hampshire Lottery spokeswoman Maura McCann. The largest jackpot ever was $587.5 million, won by two people in November, she said. Those tickets were purchased in Arizona and Missouri.

Partridge stopped off at Cumberland Farms on South Broadway yesterday to purchase two tickets.

“Not the same number,” he told the clerk.

The clerk assured Partridge he had just bought the winning ticket.

“You have been telling me that for five years,” Partridge said.

He also checked to see if he had won anything Saturday — he hadn’t.

But the store has had its share of winners. A sign boasts $263,317 in winning lottery tickets were sold there last year.

Partridge is determined to win — no matter what it takes. He has no specific plans for the winnings.

“Somebody has got to spend that money someday,” he said.

Helen Murphy, 70, of Pelham also is determined to win. She spent $16 on the lottery at Stateline Paysaver on South Broadway. That purchase included Powerball tickets.

Murphy said she’s stopped keeping track of how much spends on lottery tickets.

“If I added it up, I wouldn’t spend it, “ she said.

But the odds are against either of them winning the jackpot — one in 175 million, McCann said.

Some people buying tickets yesterday are regular players; others were tempted by the big jackpot.

“With Powerball so big, I had to play,” said Cyndi Chase, 52, of Haverhill. “I’m going to win; I have to win.”

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