Powerball jackpot is on minds of locals, visitors
EAGLE COUNTY — Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya?
Locals across the county are hoping for that early retirement payday from winning the $1.5-billion Powerball jackpot, while some are still skeptical of the one-in-a-million — or 292.2 million — odds.
“It’s one of those things where, yeah, I should probably buy one,” said Peter Smith, of Avon, “But at the same time, the odds are so far against you.”
There have been 19 Powerball drawings without a winner, and players across the country have spent an estimated $2.6 billion on tickets since the last jackpot was claimed in November.
So, who will be doing what if and when they have the winning five numbers drawn Wednesday night at 8:59 p.m.?
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“Things will change,” said Trace Escobedo, of East Vail. “I will not be working where I’m working more than likely, but that’s the way it is for anybody, I’m sure.”
Angie Swim, of Eagle-Vail, has never played the Powerball before, but the lure of this record cash payout was too much to resist.
“All I know is I’m jumping on a plane and traveling somewhere,” she said.
Who says money can’t buy happiness?
“I think it would buy my happiness,” said Tom Ludwig, of Vail.
James Keepkie, of Sydney, Australia, isn’t even sure if he’s eligible to play the Powerball. He hasn’t bought any yet, but non-U.S. residents are eligible to play and win prizes, so he is thinking of getting one before it’s too late.
“We have the same thing (in Australia) — Powerball, all sorts of lottos — but we don’t have $1.5 billion,” he said.
Now, it won’t be as simple as receiving over a billion dollars overnight. First, there will be a nine-digit tax, and the odds are good that there will be more than one winner, in which case the winnings will be split evenly.
Still, how much money do you really need, and can you handle it?
“Tons of money would, honestly, be a little scary,” said Peter Knowles, of Edwards. “I’ve seen extreme wealth not actually do the best thing for a handful of people.”
Smith said he knew someone who went all in on the Powerball, buying as many tickets as he could to better his chances. He “lost a lot of money,” Smith said.
May the odds forever be in your favor, of course, but perhaps there’s more to it than luck.
“It’s more about positive thinking than the actual number odds,” Escobedo said. “You got to think you’re going to win in order to win.”
If you’re not going to play, then the view from the sideline isn’t all too shabby, either. Not buying a Powerball ticket is the equivalent of saving $2 or $3.
“What do you want? Do you want a Powerball ticket that’s probably not going to win, or do you want a nice tasty beverage?” Smith said. “Two dollars will get you a beer … somewhere.”
Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.