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.
“Tonight on the way home from work, I think is when people will start to go crazy again,” said Anania.