Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

May 18, 2013

Feeling lucky: Citizens try for record-high jackpot

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD, Va. — Some players are doubling their chances today for winning at least $600 million during the latest Powerball drawing.

Today’s Powerball jackpot of $600 million has surpassed the previous record of $587 million won on Nov. 28, 2012.

Some local players said they purchase tickets only when winning a major jackpot is possible while others play regularly in hopes of improving their chances. William Isabelle, 31, of Bluefield stopped at the Citgo station in Bluefield, Va., to buy a lottery ticket for his father. He sometimes tries his luck with the lottery, too.

“I play when that Powerball gets outrageous, but otherwise I don’t play it,” he said. “If I won, I’d put it up for my nephews.”

Inside the store, clerk Greg Jones said there had been a lot of lottery activity that day.

“Tomorrow, it’ll be worse,” he added. Some lottery players didn’t wait until after work to get their tickets and chances to win $600 million.

“I had some in this morning about 6:30,” said Manager Edith Jarrell.

Two customers were in the midst of buying their tickets. One paid and quickly departed while another patiently selected the numbers he wanted to try. He paid and picked up his ticket.

“I play it every day,” said Harold Gammons, 58, of Bluefield, Va. “They’ll tell you I play every day of the week and they say I’m never going to win.” He smiled. “But they’ll be wrong one of these days. They can’t be right all the time.”

Across the state line in West Virginia, one Princeton man who declined to give his name said he would try to help local civic organizations if he won the jackpot. He had another goal in mind, too.

“It would ease the yoke around my neck,” he said with a smile.

Mike Alyrsufi, owner of the Food Mart on Cumberland Road, said he expected to be very busy today with lottery sales. Regular players often double the number of tickets they usually purchase in order to boost their chances of winning.

— Contact Greg Jordan at