In Maine, Powerball fever comes with a warning from State Lottery officials: don’t break your bank trying to become a millionaire.
“Don’t spend your last dollar or five dollars in your pocket,” said Maine Lottery Director Greg Mineo. “Please play responsibly,” he said.
With a record-breaking $1.5 billion jackpot Wednesday, the idea of buying multiple tickets may be tempting. But with 1 in 292 million odds of winning, buying multiple tickets only increases those odds slightly.
“[Buying Powerball tickets] should not take the place of your livelihood,” said Mineo.
Maine has seen a dramatic increase in Powerball ticket sales since the jackpot rose to more than 900 million last week. According to Mineo, there has been $4.9 million in Powerball sales in the state for the last two drawings. To put that into perspective, Maine only has a population of 1.3 million. During an average week, Powerball sales are around $330,000.
“We are in unchartered territory,” he said.
At Anania’s variety store in Portland, store owner Ed Anania has had to increase his staffing to keep up with Powerball sales.
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“Tonight on the way home from work, I think is when people will start to go crazy again,” said Anania.