BY TOM O'NEILL
The Cincinnati Enquirer
COVINGTON -- BP clerk William Olverson was in overdrive Sunday, processing Powerball tickets, answering phone calls about Powerball and fielding a reporter's questions about, well, Powerball.
The biggest lottery jackpot in history can have that effect. "Well, let me see, we had . . ." he said from behind the counter of the Covington gas station, a thought interrupted by a phone call from a Paddock Hills woman who wanted to know Saturday night's winning numbers.
"Looks like $305 in Powerball sales in six hours," Mr. Olverson said at noon, reviewing his receipts at the Covington gas station. "Saturday, we sold $5,198, and that was before it went up to $150 million."
With no winners for Saturday's $119 million prize, and with Wednesday's jackpot expected to reach $150 million in the 20-state Powerball lottery, Mr. Olverson didn't think the pace will slow. On the phone, Mrs. Harvey Dodge, 70, said she was disappointed to have not won but was undeterred.
"Maybe an apartment with a view of the river," she said of her dream. "Maybe a vacation with the children. But I'd put most of it away, or invest it."
Kentucky and Indiana outlets bordering Ohio were particularly busy because Ohioans must cross over to play. "If there was Powerball fever going into Saturday's drawing, it'll be a frenzy heading into Wednesday," said Kentucky Lottery spokesman Rick Redman. With each $1 ticket, players try to match five numbers drawn from a selection of 1 to 45, plus a Powerball number drawn from a series of 42.
The previous record lottery jackpot in the United States was $118.8 in April 1991 in the California Lottery, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association.
Ticket sales for Wednesday's drawing will cut off at 9:59 p.m. EST. The drawing is held exactly an hour later.
Powerball is played in Washington, D.C., and Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Wisconsin and West Virginia.