Workplace water cooler, lunchtime and at home conversations on Thursday returned to the normal blither-blather about cars, kids and sports. “How about ’em Chiefs?”
The red hot lottery fever was broken in most places throughout the country Thursday. The Powerball jackpot in the last two weeks grew to $1.6 billion.
The excitement over possibly winning wasn’t meant to last forever.
On Wednesday night the winning numbers, 4-8-19-27-34, drawn for the world’s biggest jackpot were announced. By Thursday morning people awakened to learn that not one, but three winners will split the take.
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One ticket was purchased at a 7-Eleven in Chino Hills, Calif. In Florida, the winning ticket was sold at a Publix grocery store in Melbourne Beach. A third ticket was bought in Memphis, Tenn., but officials weren’t sure where.
None of the new millionaires’ identities were known. Powerball tickets are sold in 44 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
The odds of winning were 1 in 292.2 million. But that didn’t stop millions of people from purchasing a ticket for 2 bucks and dreaming about what they would do with the wealth.
Any lottery ticket purchase is more of an opportunity to dream than actually get rich. For family members and workers who pooled their money in hopes of winning big, it was a chance to build camaraderie at home and on different jobs and have fun conversations sharing their dreams of being rich and what they’d do after getting the big payout.
The lottery in that regard creates more togetherness and a sense of community than a family reunion, company luncheon or party. Some people buy into the lottery pool who would never purchase a lottery ticket alone.
Trust also is built especially involving the person who takes the money, stands in a long line and makes the ticket purchase at a favorite location. Sharing the numbers also is important so no one feels slighted.
But after the big announcement of the winners, the swell of hope and excitement shrinks back to a new normal, leaving workers and families feeling a little closer from having shared their dreams of what might have been.