Nebraska Lottery spokesman Neil Watson says people who haven’t plunked down two bucks for a Powerball ticket in months are playing today, with eyes on the $500-million prize.
“Some people wait until the jackpot reaches a certain level, usually that’s over $100-million,” Watson says. “When that happens, they come into the store and they buy tickets or they may start playing with a group of friends or co-workers.”
Between 70 and 80% of Powerball players let the computer chose their numbers, but Watson says other people use their birth dates, anniversary dates or other special numbers.
“Everyone has a different way of choosing,” Watson says. “One of the things that we notice on our end is the majority of tickets are Quick Pick. It really doesn’t matter how you choose your numbers. Whether you choose them yourself or you do the Quick Pick, they all have the same chance of winning.” Those odds are more than one in 175-million.
Still, some digits are played much more frequently than others.
“There are certain numbers on the lower end, below 30, we usually call those the birthday numbers because people who play birthdays are using those,” Watson says. “It’s a random drawing. There’s no advantage to using one number over the other.”
If there’s no winner tonight, Watson says it’s a sure thing Saturday’s drawing will create even more of a frenzy.
Powerball is played in Nebraska and 41 other states. The drawing is at 9:59/Central.