Powerball players keeping their fingers crossed

Posted at: 11/28/2012 6:02 PM
Updated at: 11/28/2012 9:51 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

New Mexicans have until 7:59 p.m. Wednesday to buy Powerball tickets for a chance at winning the record-breaking $550 million jackpot. Hundreds of thousands of people have already bought in, hoping to hit it big.

Actually, your odds of being devoured by sharks or drowning in a bowl of Cream of Wheat are better than winning the Powerball tonight.

The odds are 175,000,000 to 1 that you will match all 5 numbers and the Powerball, but a lot of people are willing to take that bet. And after all, the odds are only 5,000,000 to 1 against you winning the second prize of a measly million bucks, so why not plunk down $2 a ticket?

"You know, I don't really play," Zandro Cabiltes told KOB Eyewitness News 4 while he bought $40 worth of tickets at the Chevron station at San Mateo and Candelaria. "It's just that in the office we did a pool and we bought about a thousand dollars' worth of tickets, but I'm going on my own just to see if I can quit my job."

"You can't be happy with money," said Herman Trujillo, making his own Powerball purchase. "It beats being poor and unhappy so I'm going to shoot for being rich and happy."

The jackpot is so big because nobody has won the big one since October 6. It's almost as big as the $656 million Mega Millions jackpot last March.

Let's consider tonight's pile of money - $550 million. If you take the lump sum cash payout of $360 million, you'd wind up with $270 million after federal taxes. New Mexico would take another $22 million tax bite. You're left with a mere $248 million. Still, many of us are dreaming big and already spending it in our minds.

"I'm gonna give some to charity because I'm a giving guy," Marlon Harper told us. "So I'm going to give to charity and the other - I'm going to do whatever I do with it, just enjoy life and spend, you know?"

"I'm going to buy all my family members their own houses," said Christina Ward. "I don't know. That's so much money I don't know what to do with it."

"I don't know, man," said Benjamin Quintana. "I might just run around town, throw some cash everywhere, make it rain!"