Millions looking to win the Powerball

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CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Millions of Powerball tickets are being purchased across America. In New York State, more than $3 million worth of tickets are being sold each hour.

Those big sales brought added another $100 million to the jackpot – totaling it to $900 million.

“Today’s the first one in going to buy,” said Sue. “I know it’s a long shot but you have to be in it.”

“I’m buying tickets for myself and my sons just because we want to win,” said Debbie who is buying ticket at Carl’s Lotto Market in Cheektowaga.

The $900 million dollar prize is the largest in Powerball history.

“They just changed the rules for Powerball to make it harder to win with just this kind of thing in mind,” said David Hemmer the head of the Mathematics department at the University at Buffalo.

The thing on all these people’s minds as they buy their tickets – what they’ll do with the money.

“Change lives… Not only mine but others too. People that are less fortunate, help other people,” said Core Mabry.

“Give a lot away,” said Sue. “To my parents, family, charities and probably buy a new vehicle.”

The odds are slim, that’s something all the buyers under but the idea of ending the day as a multimillionaire is too good to pass up on participating in the drawing.

“I don’t even really gamble,” said Corey. “But it’s worth the chance; worth the shot so I’ll get my ticket and see what happens.”

As true mathematician, Hemmer took his lesson to the chalkboard discussing the odds of winning. To get the solution, you multiple the number of selection options for the balls which are number one through 69 then divide that by the solution of multiplying the chances for the balls then multiply it by the options for Powerballs.

It would be (69 x 68 x 67 x 66 x 65 / 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1) x 26 = 292,201,338

“Fortunately the lottery doesn’t require you to have a particular order,” said Hemmer as he showed us how to do the math. “Whatever number you pick, whether you pick or the computer picks, it your chances are still one in 292-million.”

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