Danville, VA -- As of Thursday afternoon, the Powerball jackpot is up to $550 million. and the Mega Millions is at $190 million. That means a whole lot of people are rushing to get their tickets.As the register dings, the excitement rises for hopeful lottery players.
"I just may be a winner, try to take the chance," said lotto player Khalid Chaudhry.
"Just hoping to win a number and get lucky and win some money," said Denise Fitzgerald, who was also playing the lottery.
When you buy a Powerball ticket, your chances of winning the jackpot are less than 1 in 175 million. But when you buy that ticket, there is someone who is always a winner, and that's the store.
"Almost half of everyone who comes in here will buy at least maybe one, one shot at the Mega or the Power," said Jennifer Phillippe, who works at Riverside Mart.
Stores love the lotto because not only can the business count on a 5% commission for every lotto ticket sold, they also get a 1% cashing bonus for winning tickets. If the ticket brings in more than $20,000, the stores get a big reward too. Then, when the jackpot gets really high, the customers rush in.
"I come in here to play the lottery but sometimes other things you just might want. A snack or whatever," said Lula Wilson, playing lotto.
And stores depend on those impulse purchases.
"That helps a lot," said Phillippe.
Phillippe has seen a few big jackpots come and go. But every time, they count on bringing in big bucks. And they always hope their customers will have those lucky numbers.
"Maybe tomorrow I will be a millionaire!" said Chaudhry.
The money the stores get from winning tickets does not come out of the winner's money, it is provided by the lottery.
The Powerball drawing is Saturday and the Megaball drawing is Friday.