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Powerball jackpot hits $500 million

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Powerball jackpot hits $500 million
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The Powerball jackpot has reached $500 million and continues to grow. The idea of winning half a billion dollars has many people rushing out to buy lottery tickets. Our Melissa Kakareka has been talking to some hopefuls and joined us with more.

KIRKWOOD, N.Y. -- Gas Stations and convenience stores were busy with customers Tuesday as more and more people buy tickets for the Powerball drawing.

"Most people buy small amounts, but one guy bought $104 worth of tickets," said Love's Shift Leader Sarah Bucci.

The winner will receive the largest jackpot in Powerball history.

"This is the largest for the game. The Powerball jackpot was $365 million in 2006. New York joined in 2010. It has not reached over the $365 million until now," said NY Lottery Spokesperson Yolanda Vega.

Many people do have strategies to increase their chances of winning. Some are taking part in pools with friends or co-workers.

"A bunch of guys and I at the office pooled our money to increase our chances to win. I definitely wouldn't spend $36 on tickets, but I put in $6. So I have the amount to win of $36 by only putting in $6," said Johnson City resident Joseph Turdo.

Others are buying tickets in multiple states. Truck driver Thomas Leslie says he has bought $100 worth of tickets between Alabama and New York.

"Seems like the numbers hit more on the east coast than in like Tennessee," said Thomas Leslie.

It's a similar story for Pennsylvania resident Shawn Connelly, who has bought four tickets in four states.

"I was in different state and I don't want to wake up in the morning and see someone in New York won and I didn't have a chance," said Connelly.

But for most people, it's all a matter of chance.

"I don't think there is any strategy to it. It’s just dumb luck," said Leslie.

The Powerball drawing is Wednesday night at 11 p.m.

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