Got THE ticket for tonight’s big Powerball drawing?
(CNN) — Two dollars and a dream.
That’s all it took for Mammie Hicks to plunk down money at a Riverside, Missouri, convenience store for a chance at Saturday’s record $600 million multi-state Powerball jackpot.
“People are more important than money. I’d just give it away … to help people,” she told CNN affiliate KCTV5 of Kansas City.
The jackpot, with a cash value of $376.9 million, marks the largest in Powerball history, surpassing a $587.6 million jackpot split by winners in Arizona and Missouri in November.
The largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history was $656 million in the Mega Millions game in March 2012. That was split by three tickets sold in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland.
That mark will be dwarfed if no one wins the Powerball jackpot Saturday. With now winner, the jackpot will be about $925 million for Wednesday’s drawing, according to Kelly Cripe, spokeswoman for the Texas Lottery, which is part of the multi-state lotteries.
The Powerball game is played in 43 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. A single ticket costs $2, and the odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 175,223,510.
But before you start dreaming of that mansion in Barbados, allow us to pour an icy bucket of mathematical reality over your head: You almost certainly aren’t going to win.
You stand a better chance of walking onto the golf course and hitting two consecutive holes in one than winning that jackpot.
But that didn’t stop hundreds from driving to the Trex Mart in Dearborn, Missouri, store where one of two winning tickets sold in last year’s $587 million Powerball drawing.
About 100 people an hour were buying tickets at the store, one of the clerk’s told CNN by telephone.
Back at the convenience store in Riverside, Jim Mansell said he was only buying one ticket.
“I figure if the good Lord intends you to win, you only need one ticket,” he told KCTV. “But I don’t know if the good Lord believes in gambling or not.”