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Money talks: Valley residents flock to stores for chance at $900M Powerball jackpot

A customer purchases a Powerball ticket at a Chevron gas station in Phoenix, Ariz. (KTAR Photo/Mike Sackley)

PHOENIX — Arizonans are flocking by the dozens to convenience stores across the state for the chance to win the multimillion dollar Powerball jackpot.

The jackpot will be drawn on Saturday for a record-breaking $900 million. One Chevon gas station in Phoenix has already seen a heavy influx in customers purchasing tickets ahead of the drawing.

Justin Shaw, a cashier at the Chevron at 44th Street and McDowell Road, said they racked up $6,500 in sales on Wednesday alone.

“We’re getting a lot of first-time buyers,” he said. “($900) million sounds nice to everybody.”

One customer, Nick, who declined to give his last name, said the amount of the Powerball jackpot drew him to purchase a ticket for the first time.

“Biggest lottery in history I guess, so I thought I’d try my chances at it,” he said.

Another customer, Austin, who also declined to give his last name, said he purchases tickets for the Powerball on a regular basis.

“I normally play it every weekend,” he said. “I come (to the Chevron), fill up on gas and then buy some Powerballs (tickets).”

Representatives with the Arizona Lottery said 948,000 Powerball tickets were sold on Wednesday ahead of the last drawing, equating to $6.1 million in ticket sales.

The $800 million Powerball jackpot is the largest in U.S. history, surpassing the $656 million Mega Millions jackpot from March 2012. The jackpot has been rolling over since early November and could reach the $1 billion mark if it rolls over after Saturday.

But for those who are vying for their chance to become a multimillionaire, be aware: After state and federal taxes, your cut of the jackpot decreases significantly to a mere $560 million.

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