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November 26, 2012

Record $425M Powerball jackpot draws many

People hope to beat huge lottery odds

There’s a first time for everything — even buying lottery tickets.

With a record $425 million Powerball jackpot up for grabs tomorrow, some local residents found themselves purchasing tickets for the first time yesterday.

Thoughts of early retirement, buying a multi-million-dollar mansion and paying off all their bills were on the minds of many Massachusetts and New Hampshire residents as they lined up at store counters to get tickets.

At Stateline Paysaver on South Broadway in Salem, there was a steady flow of customers throughout the day laying down their cash with the hope of becoming a multi-millionaire in the drawing tomorrow night. People also were stopping across the street at Discount Stateline Store and Borderline Convenience Store.

Stateline manager Steve Dardas said the store sold $500 worth of the $2 tickets yesterday morning alone as many people stopped off on their way to work. Dardas said he usually sells about one-quarter of that.

“Today was big, but (tomorrow) it will be out of control,” he said. “It would be nice to see someone win here.”

Ticket sales had dropped off by noon, but people, including Wayne Daniels, 50, of Methuen, were still coming into the store to test their luck. Daniels was one of several customers buying tickets for the first time, tempted by the opportunity to strike it rich, really rich.

“I’ve never bought a ticket in my life,” he said. “I’m not a gambler. If I win, I’ll buy some nice toys.”

That would include a new pickup truck, he said.

Steve Marshall, 56, of Lowell said he doesn’t usually buy lottery tickets and didn’t plan on purchasing a Powerball ticket.

But when he jokingly pointed at a sign in another store and said, “Four hundred twenty-five million dollars? I’ll take one of those.”

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