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Powerball is a dangerous gamble for some

7:42 PM, May 18, 2013   |    comments
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AP graphic of the Powerball logo

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. (WZZM) - The record-setting Powerball jackpot stands at $600 million, but is expected to grow much larger with Saturday's ticket sales.

The cash register is working overtime at Party World Liquor in Comstock Park, pumping out more Powerball tickets than employee Amy Edmaisdon has ever seen. She says they've sold thousands of tickets just on Saturday alone, and while many flocking in are casual players, she says a lot are first time lottery buyers. Most are buying five to 10 tickets at a time.

"Above and beyond, this is crazy," she said.

Many might say, what's the harm in taking part in the history-making excitement?

It's a harmless game for most.

But for some, it's a dangerous gamble. Janitor Teddy Smallwood of Rockford has been playing for 40 years.

"And all that money went to the lottery. I'm ashamed of myself," he said.

According to the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, more than half of us have played the lottery in the last year, although only 20% of customers buy the majority of the tickets.

In the Psychology Today piece, "Lottery-itis!" experts highlighted two factors why someone would want to buy a lottery ticket. They wrote that we want to be 'part of the movement,' and not 'feel left out.' The second reason comes from a feeling of disempowerment that comes with change.

Studies have also shown that even if you do win, you'll be richer, but you probably won't be happier.

Smallwood has won the lottery - a small amount - once in his 40 years of gambling. He speaks to the latter.

"Save your money, the grass is not greener on the other side of the fence."

But he, and thousands of others, are still...

"Holding on hope," said Smallwood.

Party World employees say they get customers from across the state, because they've produced six lottery winning tickets.






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