Lottery fever spreads as jackpots continue to swell

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — When the jackpot of a national lottery game surpasses $300 million, it doesn’t take long for lottery fever to sweep across the country. The same can be said for this week, only twofold.

It’s been months since a jackpot has been hit in either Mega Millions or Powerball, so the top prizes have ballooned to $393 million and $356 million, respectively.

There was a familiar buzz in the air on Friday as customers picked up their potential winning tickets at Darlington Liquors in Pawtucket.

“I’m not greedy,” city resident Lyndon Donovan said. “I’ll take $100,000, $1 million, $10 million, whatever.”

Back in June, a group of 42 coworkers took home a million-dollar prize with a ticket bought at the Armistice Boulevard business.

“I’ve been playing it since it first came out – and that was more than 30 years ago – and the most I have ever won is $5, which was today,” Vangel Shore of Pawtucket said.

So why does he keep playing?

“Stupidity,” Shore added with a laugh. “The law of averages.”

The chances of hitting the jackpot for Mega Millions is 1 in 258.9 million while for Powerball its 1 in 292.2 million. But still, dozens of people manage to get their hands on a winning ticket each year.

“I’m hoping for the next one,” Donovan added.

The next Mega Millions drawing is Friday night. The winning numbers will be revealed on Eyewitness News at 11 on WPRI 12.

The next Powerball drawing will air Saturday night during Eyewitness News at 11 on WPRI 12.