BEAUMONT, Texas — The Powerball and Mega Millions have reached a combined nearly $1.4 billion. David Fertitta, owner of Sam's package store, says he's seen Powerball and Mega Millions ticket sales increase two to three fold recently, and he admits that's a conservative estimate.
There were no winners in Wednesday’s Powerball drawing, so the jackpot has increased to $640 million.
And on top of that, there has yet to be a winner in the Mega Millions lottery, so the grand prize there has soared to $750 million, making it the fifth-largest prize in US history.
However, the odds of winning are slim, 1 in 292.2 million for Powerball and 1 in 302.5 million for mega millions.
But it's still not stopping people from buying tickets. Even in the middle of a pandemic, many people are heading to convenience stores and places like Sam's to try their luck.
Fertitta said ticket sales began to spike Tuesday and expects an evening rush Friday night. He expects people hurrying in to get the lucky numbers before Saturday’s drawings. If the winning ticket is from Sam's, Fertitta has a surprise for the winner.
"We might even hire a limo to take them to Austin to get their money," Fertitta said.
As far as Southeast Texans looking to hit the jackpot, J'hani Hayes and her daughter Justice said if they won, they would be smart with their money but also generous.
"First, we would go, probably, on a trip and then invest money in stocks and stuff," Hayes said.
Marquita Brown would also be wise with her winnings. She said she would hire an accountant and also share her winnings with family. But she has one splurge in mind, a trip.
"I would start off, maybe, Italy,” Brown said.
Hopefully, next week, we'll be covering a lucky winner from the 409.