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Yorkers line up for Powerball tickets
The record-setting $900 million Powerball lottery is bringing out new and seasoned players in York to try their luck at the big win.
There were no winners last week, so the winnings rolled over to this week, bringing the total to $100 million shy of $1 billion.
The odds of winning with a $2 ticket is one in 292.2 million. Even with the odds stacked against them, Yorkers flocked to Cocoa's Hut at 3402 E. Market Street on Saturday afternoon to get their tickets for a chance to win that record-setting prize.
The craze: Sara Zaidi, a cashier at Cocoa's, said she hasn't seen anything like the steady stream of customers coming in to buy tickets for the game. On Saturday afternoon, she said the line was really long, with everyone in line for Powerball tickets.
"Every two seconds, someone's coming in," she said, adding that she hadn't gotten more than a second to have a sip of water before more customers arrived clamoring for tickets.
Zaidi said the highest amount someone paid for tickets during her shift was $80. She said she saw a lot of people coming in groups buying tickets, pooling their money in hopes of splitting the winnings should they win.
People unfamiliar with the Powerball — including her — are joining in as well, Zaidi said.
"I don't even play and I bought one too," she said.
Dreams: Rose Rupert, of Hellam Township, picked up her Powerball tickets Saturday afternoon. Rupert doesn't usually play the lottery very often, she said, but she saw the huge potential prize and decided to take a chance.
If she were to win the money, she would like to live comfortably, without worrying about bill payments, she said.
Rupert said she would also like to travel more, specifically Oregon, to visit her son. She said she currently only gets out there about once a year.
"I could have my own private jets," she said.
Finally, she said she would donate some money to a worthy cause, such as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).
Helping out: Maggie Ahrens, of Springettsbury Township, said she would pay family members' bills if she won.
Ahrens, who doesn't typically play the Powerball, said she would also help libraries or the Humane Society if she won.
"You can't fix everything, but I'd try to fix my little corner of the world," she said.
Ahrens said she would also ensure her nieces and nephews could attend college with worrying about tuition.
"They'd have a free ride . . . ," she said.
Finally, Ahrens said, she would move somewhere warmer after living in York for two decades.
"I am almighty tired of being cold," she said.
Trying his fortune: Michael Glatfelter, of Springettsbury Township, entered his numbers from a fortune cookie, which he hopes will bring him luck.
Glatfelter knows exactly what he would do if he won the big prize.
"I would help to rebuild downtown York," he said. Glatfelter said he would only keep a small amount for himself and invest in the city.
"If I had $5 million, I'd be the happiest man in the world," he said.
Glatfelter said even if he won the money, he would still work until his retirement date in September.
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at firstname.lastname@example.org