$ 550 million and counting
That's the prize up for grabs tonight in the powerball drawing.
It's the biggest powerball jackpot ever.
It has people snapping up tickets at alarming speeds...already making plans for the multi million dollar prize.
Reporter, "A lot of exitement? "
Dipa Patel, "Lots of excitement. Everybody needs money, you know. (laugh)."
The clerk at Express Mart in East Ridge tells me she sold around a thousand tickets since Saturday. ...Two hundred to one customer alone.
Mathew Roberts snapped up number 1 thousand and one.
Reporter, "Have you played powerball before?
Roberts, "No this is the first time. It's just so much. Might as well try it out."
Even News 12 Photographer Harrison Pirtle couldn't resist.
Here's his lucky pick.
Down the street at Oik N Ez Donnie Hodge custom picked the numbers for three extra tickets... above the usual one or two per week.
Hodge, "That would be nice to win. You could do a lot of good with that $500 million or however much it is. "
Reporter, "550 million now."
Hodge, "$550 million now!"
Reporter, "Yeah, Even better. "
The owner here tells me they sold one thousand tickets so far today.
Two dollars gets you a roughly one in 175 million chance of winning the big prize.
But the dismal odds didn't deter determined dreamers.
Roberts, "I'll probably spend my money on uh the rest of my life just you know partying out. (laugh)"
Reporter, "How many tickets did you buy?
Roberts, "Three, I guess. Yeah I'm just hoping for the millions."
Hodge, "We've got a lot of family that needs a lot of stuff and we would help them out of course buy a house and probably a new car you know."
The jackpot grew to record heights after 16 consecutive drawings without a winner.
Millions of people are betting on that changing.
You have until 9:59 eastern to buy a powerball ticket
The drawing is tonight.