The sky is the limit

For a few more hours, you can hold on to your dreams of winning the biggest Powerball jackpot ever.

Greenwood resident Nate Turner didn’t have too big of a list — just to be able to pay for college with cash and buy a multimillion-dollar Los Angeles mansion.

For Grada Boeschoten Springer of Franklin, she would jet off to visit some of her favorite spots in Europe.

Local residents and workers said they wanted to pay off outstanding medical bills, buy a private island in the Caribbean or adopt every dog from a local animal shelter if they won the jackpot.

If someone’s ticket matches all the Powerball numbers this weekend, the lucky winner will receive an estimated jackpot of $800 million, the largest in U.S. history. More than five years have passed since someone purchased a winning Powerball ticket in Indiana, according to the Hoosier Lottery.

The chances of winning aren’t great: one in 292 million.

But some Johnson County residents have had some recent luck, including a Greenwood woman who won $5 million in September by playing in the Hoosier Lottery and a Nineveh man that won $2 million for correctly guessing every number except the Powerball in 2014. Five Hoosiers, including a Greenwood resident, won $50,000 on Wednesday playing Powerball.

You can still buy a ticket as late as 9:58 p.m. today before the drawing at 11 p.m., according to Jerry Grider, senior manager of public relations and promotions for Hoosier Lottery.

Boeschoten Springer wrote down a reminder to tell her husband to buy a few tickets once she learned how high the jackpot had risen.

“He’s the lucky one,” she said.

A Holland native, Boeschoten Springer said she would use her winnings to pay for a trip to visit Europe again. She has been to Germany, France, Belgium and Italy and wants to visit every country again, she said.

But first, she would give 10 percent of the jackpot to local churches and organizations that assist families who don’t have enough money to pay bills or eat, Springer said.

Morgan County resident Renee McCoy, who works at Franklin College, would use the money to start a camp for kids with special needs or who come from single-parent families, since she was a single mom.

At Midwest Electric in Whiteland, employees pool their money to buy tickets every week, employee Jenny Abner said. Many years ago, Abner’s brother suggested all of the employees pool their money so they can buy more lottery tickets and hopefully have a better shot at winning, she said. Employees have to sign a paper with the deadline for turning in money, so no one can argue that they deserve a portion of the jackpot if they hit it big, she said.

“I can’t say it increases your chances, but pools have won before,” Abner said.

Despite playing the lottery as a group for years, they’ve never won more than about $100, Abner said.

At a glance

If you want a chance at winning the Powerball jackpot of $700 million, here are a few facts to consider:

  • If someone does win the Powerball tonight, the actual earnings are an estimated $425 million
  • Chances of winning the Powerball jackpot are one in 292 million
  • The last time a Hoosier won the Powerball jackpot was in April 2011
  • Indiana has the highest number of Powerball winners with 38 winners so far
  • On Wednesday, five Hoosiers — including one Greenwood resident — won $50,000 by winning part of the Powerball lottery
  • Tickets for the Powerball drawing tonight need to be purchased by 9:58 p.m. The drawing will be at 11 p.m.

Source: Hoosier Lottery