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Powerball Fever Strikes Bridgeport As Jackpot Hits Record $700 Million

Bill John of Trumbull buys his Powerball ticket Thursday from Nada Ghalayini at Nick's Grocery in Bridgeport. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
Rob Martin, a partner in East Putnam Variety in Greenwich, sold many Powerball tickets Thursday and is expecting to sell many more Friday in anticipation of Saturday's record drawing. Photo Credit: Jay Polansky

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — Pay off the mortgage? Travel around the world? Buy a pony? What would you do if you won the Powerball jackpot?

What would you do if you won the record Powerball jackpot?
Final Results Voting Closed

What would you do if you won the record Powerball jackpot?

  • Go on a long vacation
  • Buy a new house — or two
  • Buy a new car — or two
  • Start a business
  • Give it all away
  • Keep it a secret
  • It's too much money to even consider

With no big winner Wednesday night, the pot surged to a record $700 million and beyond. And plenty of Fairfield County residents were lining up with $2 and a dream on Thursday.

“I'd pay off the mortgage. ... I've got a daughter getting married next year, pay off everybody's school loans, help whoever I can live a more comfortable life,” said Bill John of Trumbull.

He bought his single ticket Thursday afternoon from Nada Ghalayini at Nick’s Grocery in Bridgeport.

In Greenwich, some tried their luck at East Putnam Variety, one of the 17 stores in town that sell lottery tickets.

Rob Martin, a partner in the store, said he saw a steady stream of Powerball customers Thursday. One customer even purchased more than $1,000 worth of tickets!

But he’s gearing up for Friday, when he expects even more customers.

That “will be insane,” he said on Thursday from behind the counter. Friday is a payday for many customers, Martin said. It’s also the last business day before the big drawing on Saturday, he said.

Connecticut did have a new millionaire from Wednesday night's drawing, so residents are hoping the luck lingers until the next drawing Saturday.

Nationwide, no one matched Wednesday’s numbers of 2, 11, 47, 62, 63, with Powerball 17. But one ticket was sold in Hartford County that matched the first five and is worth a cool $1 million. The winner had not come forward by Thursday, according to CT Lottery.

Last week, Connecticut also sold a a $1 million Powerball winner with a match of five numbers. On Tuesday, Romel Llivizaca, of Groton, claimed his prize from last Saturday’s drawing. His quick-pick ticket included 5, 6, 15, 29, 42, but not the Powerball number of 10.

The next Powerball drawing is 10:59 p.m. Saturday.

After taxes, that $700 million jackpot would be worth about $428 million.

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