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Small towns key to winning lottery jackpot

TOLONO -- A $2 investment could have you seeing some serious green this weekend.
TOLONO -- A $2 investment could have you seeing some serious green this weekend. The Powerball jackpot has reached $600,000,000.

All kinds of people were buying tickets; regulars and first-timers. Some have a strategy for picking the right numbers. But if history rings true, it's all about picking the right place.

On the outside it's just another gas station. But given the track record at this Casey's, you'd think a horseshoe was hiding under the register.

"Like we had that unclaimed $50,000 that a lot of people were asking about that because, big ticket, small town," said cashier Jimmie Wilkerson.

Even the scratch tickets have a reputation for winning.

"He actually only bought that one ticket one time, it's that $30 scratch off. And he got $1,000,000 off of it," he added.

A million dollars? That's chump change compared Saturday's big ticket; a Powerball jackpot worth $600,000,000.

"I think it's crazy myself, but I mean everybody's dream is the win it big and $600 million sounds pretty good to me," said Wilkerson.

It sounds pretty good to the non-stop line of lottery hopefuls, especially in small towns like Tolono. The town of Fairmount sold a $1 million ticket last November. Thirteen months ago, a couple in Red Bud, IL, cashed in on a third of the highest jackpot ever, netting them $218,000,000.

"Villa Grove the week before, I won $20,000. On that little brown ticket, the gold," said Walter McLaren of Tolono.

"Little towns like this they got, I don't know what he word is," Wilkerson tried to explain.

Maybe that word is simply luck.

"Taking luck, you got to have luck," said McLaren.

"I definitely believe in luck because we sell a lot of tickets and I'm Irish so it kind of goes with it," joked Wilkerson.

Since Wednesday's drawing, the jackpot has jumped $236,000,000.

Want to increase your chances of winning? Here are a few tips from Randy Lustig, seven-time lottery winner.

He says not to play quick picks. He feels they give you worst odds. Lustig says pick a set of your own numbers and stick with them.

By the way, your odds of winning the jackpot are one in 175,000,000.
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