Southlanders line up at 'lucky' Blue Bird Liquor for Powerball tickets

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Powerball fever continues to climb as the clock ticks down to Wednesday night's drawing for the record $1.5 billion jackpot. (KABC)

Powerball fever continues to climb as the clock ticks down to Wednesday night's drawing for the record $1.5 billion jackpot.

The $1.5 billion jackpot is the largest lottery jackpot in history. If there is no winner Wednesday night, the jackpot for Saturday's drawing will be $2 billion, according to lottery officials. The cash payout would be $1.24 billion.

People lined up as early as 5:30 a.m. in front of Blue Bird Liquor in Hawthorne, hoping some of the store's "luck" from past winners will rub off on them.


People have been flocking to the retailer for more than 20 years. The store has made seven millionaires over the years.

"It's a frenzy. Yesterday, we had to close the door on some people. We had to cut the line at the end because we couldn't, we weren't table to service everybody," an employee said.

The line at the famed local spot stretched beyond the block, but it didn't compare to the line in Nipton, California. The line at a store in that city was three hours long - thanks to the crowds from Nevada rushing into the border town to try their luck at the massive jackpot.

Nevada is one of six states that does not play Powerball. The other states are Alabama, Mississippi, Utah, Alaska and Hawaii.

The Nipton line is said to be the longest in the country.

Even our neighbors up north from Canada are trekking across the border to play. Foreigners are allowed to play but would be taxed at a higher rate than U.S. citizens.

An estimated $600 million is expected to be spent on Powerball tickets on Wednesday alone. During rush hour, between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., sales are expected to hit $1.3 per minute.

According to lottery officials, so many people have bought tickets for Wednesday's drawing that 85.9 percent of all possible number combinations have already been purchased.
Related Topics:
newspowerballlotteryjackpotmoneyu.s. & worldHawthorneLos Angeles County
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