Weatherford Democrat

November 28, 2012

Feeling lucky? Powerball hits record high

Brian Smith
Weatherford Democrat

WEATHERFORD —  

The recent record jackpot of Powerball has helped some local businesses increase sales.

Wednesday night’s next Powerball jackpot, which is estimated at $425 million, has brought out customers who normally don’t play the lottery or any chance games, according to Angela, an employee of Exxon On the Run on Santa Fe, who didn’t want to give out her last name.

“We’ve seen people come in who normally don’t play any lottery,” she said. “We’ve gotten a bunch of new customers, it seems. We’ve just been crazy busy because of (Powerball).”

Part of that comes from employees asking each customer if they would like to purchase a $2 Powerball ticket. Some said yes upon the prompt, like Kirk Loftin. He said because it was his birthday, he paid $50 for tickets. His cashier asked him if he was going to take care of “a sister.”

“If I win, I’ll be taking care of everyone,” Loftin said.

Those new customers are also buying other things as well, which helps increase the store’s bottom line. While actual numbers are not in, store employees are seeing people coming in not just for tickets.

“Anytime they come in for lottery, they come in for other things as well. That’s just the nature of the business,” Bill Brundige, an associate of RaceTrac in Hudson Oaks, said. “We’re still seeing an increase in business.”

He said the last time Powerball had a record jackpot, it was “just crazy.” 

“We had lines going out the door then,” Brundige said. “We’ve still got a couple days left before the next drawing, but we’re expecting the same then as well.”

With the increased jackpot, customers are buying more than their usual number of tickets. Sam Bishop was at On the Run on Santa Fe and said he bought five times his normal number of tickets.

“I come in, get my tickets for the week and normally a drink or something,” Bishop said Monday. “It’s what I’ve been doing for years, but when the jackpot is this large, I have to kick it up.”

Others, like Gwen Tanner of Cleburne, figured she’d take a chance and bought just one ticket.

“That’s all it takes,” Tanner said. “With the kind of money on the line, I had to play.”