HAM LAKE, Minn. (WCCO) — Like mechanical music, a sweet song of hopes and dreams played on repeat at the Holiday Station Store on Crosstown Boulevard in Ham Lake.
The sound was the lottery machine churning Powerball ticket after ticket, as customers lined up for a chance to win a jackpot worth $700 million.
“I’m gonna win the Powerball,” said ticket buyer Rocky Johnson.
She was riding a high from turning in a winning Mega Millions ticket worth $150.
“I really want to take care of all types of animals that I can and do some traveling,” Johnson said.
She visited the Holiday store because it was on her way home from work, but other customer specifically stopped at this store for its rich history.
“Driving from Ramsey and said might as well get the Powerball here,” said Douglas Pries. “Better luck than I’m having over [in Ramsey].”
He and his son picked the location because Ham Lake resident Paul White hit the Powerball jackpot there in August of 2013. He had to split the money with two other winners, but he still took home $149 million.
Johnson had no idea of the store’s history, and neither did customer David Egan, who said he stopped by the store simply because it was close to his home.
WCCO asked if he thought that might hurt his odds of winning big.
“Doesn’t make any difference, but I like that,” Egan said.
No matter where people snagged a ticket, the chance of winning the top prize is still 1 in 292 million.
But for a $2 fee, some feel the odds are worth every penny.
“I know one thing, you can’t win it if you don’t buy a ticket,” Egan said.
When White won the jackpot in 2013, he opted for the lump sum payment, which took his winnings from $149 million down to $86 million. The Holiday earned a $50,000 bonus for selling the ticket.
For every dollar spent on the lottery in Minnesota, 25 cents goes back to the state.
Half of the earnings will go towards education, health care and public safety. The rest is spent on organizations that preserve the environment.
Wednesday night’s Powerball numbers are 6-7-16-23-26, and the Powerball is 4.