CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Lottery sales doubled overnight at convenience stores on Charleston's East End, store workers said Sunday as the Powerball jackpot surpassed an all-time record.
Some customers going in and out of the Exxon One Stop on Washington Street East were getting tickets for Wednesday's Powerball drawing. Wednesday's jackpot is up to an estimated $425 million.
Store manager Mary Stewart normally arrives at work on Sundays to find $500 in lottery sales from the night before. That wasn't the case this weekend.
"It pretty much doubled," she said. "There was more than $1,000 there just from Powerball and lottery."
Store clerks said a number of people showed up late Saturday night to buy tickets for the day's drawing, which had an estimated jackpot of $325 million. They sold tickets right up until the cut off period at 10 p.m. for the 11 p.m. drawing.
There were no jackpot winners Saturday night.
Stewart said the store would likely be busy with jackpot dreamers over the next few days. So far it hasn't been anything like it was earlier this year when the Mega Millions jackpot reached $540 million, she said. Nearly every customer then was also buying a lottery ticket.
"The drawing's not until Wednesday, so you can just imagine - I'm sure it probably will be pretty busy in here and at other stores," Stewart said.
She said a few customers have come in with large bills to buy multiple tickets. A man came in earlier in the day and asked for 50 tickets, one of the clerks said.
The store manager said employees are allowed to buy tickets but can't while they are on shift. She said she does buy lottery tickets on occasion and that she more than likely would pick one up for Wednesday's drawing.
When asked what she would do with her winnings, she said, "Sit on it. I'm not going to be like these idiots who blow it all a year after they win."
Customers weighed in on the lottery as well.
Horace Coleman, 28, of Charleston stopped in on his way home from holiday traveling. He said he would first cash the ticket, and then get a lawyer.
"Then I'm going to get another lawyer to watch the first lawyer," Coleman joked. "I'm not going to be going on any spending sprees or anything."