Everybody wants the inside track on how to win the highly coveted $600 million Powerball prize – including San Diegans.
California joined the Powerball club in December so San Diegans can now find tickets wherever Super Lotto or Mega Million tickets are sold. Currently, 43 states participate in the Powerball Lottery.
Lottery officials say adding California to the mix has given the Powerball jackpot a quick growth spurt to the $600 million prize it is today.
For those wondering how to get in on the buzz, California Lottery officials list their lucky retailers. This list includes two San Diego area convenience stores that have a history of selling winning tickets.
Locally, the 7-Elevens at 807 E 8th Street in National City and the one at 4983 Cass Street in Pacific Beach have each sold two jackpot tickets.
It was at the Cass Street location in 2009, that 24-year-old insurance agent Todd Moitz picked the right combination for his $47 million jackpot.
In January 2012, a man identified by lottery officials as Alvin T. won $1 million with his $10 scratcher purchase at the National City 7-Eleven location.
Both lucky stores are experiencing long lines at the lottery counters, stacked with eager players looking to cash in on some serious luck.
7-Eleven store manager Raju Sings told NBC 7 he’s been printing out endless lottery tickets for customers this week.
His 7-Eleven store has sold two jackpot-winning tickets. The last one was sold four years ago.
Some locals know it’s a lucky spot, so they’ve purposely chosen to spend their dollars there on Powerball tickets.
Zack Howard bought two lottery tickets on Friday night from Sings’ 7-Eleven.
“I like to play Mega Millions and Powerball every now and then. It’s exciting. It’s out there, so you might as well play. There’s always a chance that you could win a lot of money,” Howard told NBC 7.
Although he has only ever won $10 and $2 prizes playing the lottery, Howard said he was feeling particularly lucky this time around.
Pacific Beach resident Matt Belardes, who works in the investment business, also felt inclined to invest a few bucks in the Powerball lottery.
“I like luck. Hopefully, I’ll get a little luck,” he told NBC 7.
Sing said it’s no surprise that customers are feeling lucky at his store.
“You get more busy. People know us, [that we’re] a very good store. Very lucky,” Sings said.
There were also long lines at the 7-Eleven on East Eighth Street in National City Friday night – another one of San Diego’s luckiest lottery stores.
Risking a couple of dollars for a chance -- even a one in 175 million chance -- at a record Powerball prize in places where millionaires of lotteries past have roamed made many customers feel lucky, and a little generous.
“I’ll give you $1 million if I win,” one lottery player told NBC 7.
The California Lottery commission confirmed that if nobody wins the $600 million Powerball prize during Saturday’s drawing, the next jackpot jumps to $925 million – nearly $1 billion.
The Powerball drawing is scheduled for 7:59 p.m. PT. The deadline to buy the $2 Powerball tickets is 6 p.m. PT.