Record Powerball jackpot lures Mississippians to Slidell

Record Powerball jackpot lures Mississippians to Slidell

SLIDELL, LA (WLOX) - Friday, the Powerball jackpot grew to a record $800 million. And that has hundreds of Mississippians making a run for the Louisiana border to buy tickets.

We found a line of Powerball hopefuls packed into a Slidell convenience store Friday morning. The Mississippi car tags in the parking lot offered a clue to where most inside the store came from. Each had a lot of time to think about just how they might spend all that money as they waited patiently to purchase tickets.

"I would live happily ever after and I would bless a lot of people," said Tina Bently of Picayune.

D'Iberville resident Janie LaFountaine said, "I would retire, live well, go to Florida, buy a condo and have fun."

Cat Lee of Pascagoula said, "I'd give it away. I've got some people who needs it. My family and other people who needs it. I'd give some to St. Jude and Shriners."

Charles Branham, also of Pascagoula, said, "Buy some land, start raising cows and help my family."

The odds of winning the now $800 million jackpot is one in 292-million. But Charles Branham said luck has nothing to do with it. It's a blessing that will come from up above.

"It all belongs to the good Lord. He gives it to who he wants to have it," explained Branham.

But is this record breaking jackpot just too much money to deal with?

"It's never too much money. I'd help a lot of people," LaFoutaine said.

"At my age, I'd never spend that kind of money," Lee said. "So I may as well give it away."

But her 80 mile drive from Pascagoula for a shot at $800 million was a chance she had to take.

"Really and truly, you never know," said Lee.

No one has matched all six numbers during the past 19 drawings. If that happens again on Saturday night, estimates are the jackpot could top a whooping $1 billion.

Copyright 2016 WLOX. All rights reserved.