NORWALK, Conn. — Uben Shah remembers people lining up outside Crossroads Card and Gift in Norwalk to buy Powerball tickets when the jackpot was $300 million in 1988.
Back then, Powerball wasn't played in New York or New Jersey. But lots of people have been coming in to get a chance at the $500 million jackpot drawing Wednesday, he said.
"The locals are going crazy and buying a lot of tickets," he said. He bought a ticket for himself and said that if he won, he would "take care of all the bills."
Christine Foster bought a ticket at Puritan Stationery in Darien and said it was the 10th she had bought. The first thing she would do if she won $500 million would be to spread it among her loved ones.
"I would also give a lot to the poor. Some people have nothing," Foster said. "I would love to buy a small log house in the woods. It's always been a dream of mine."
Christina Kim was working the counter at Puritan and said many people came in Monday when the jackpot was only $425 million, and there had been a steady stream ever since. She bought a couple of tickets for herself but said, "It's almost too much money. I might keep a couple million, but I would donate a lot to poor people, probably in Africa."
Rick Bolleni at the Bedford Street Market in Stamford estimated the store had sold about 300 tickets Tuesday. "It's going to be higher tomorrow, so there's going to be more people."
Elizabeth Then had never bought a lottery ticket before she walked into the Bedford Street Market to buy five of them. "Everybody's been talking about it, so I figured I'd just try my luck."
If she won, Then said she would pay off all her debts. She would also give money away to her loved ones, especially her goddaughter.
"And I would stop working immediately."