$320M POWERBALL: Who's playing for 5th largest jackpot? - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

$320M POWERBALL: Who's playing for 5th largest jackpot?

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If winning the Powerball is your dream, that dream is getting really big. The jackpot up for grabs is currently $320 million, and that's the fifth largest in Powerball history.

Even though the odds are stacked against them, people seem to take their chances playing Powerball -- especially when the jackpot climbs into record territory.

"Gotta take a shot," said Josh Havens, who works the register at Circle K.

While on break, Havens bought a ticket for himself after watching the jackpot climb after no winner was found over the weekend.

"It's two bucks for a chance to win $320 million," he said. "Can't complain."

There certainly seems to be something lucky about Minnesota. The state has produced 21 Powerball jackpot winners since 1992 -- but if you thought most people who play are living in poverty and hoping to get rich quick, think again.

A study by St. Cloud State University shows the majority of people playing the game in Minnesota don't actually need the money. According to the research, most people who play make at least $50,000 a year.

"These are people who have sufficient incomes to live," explained Ed Van Petten, with the Minnesota State Lottery. "They're setting aside their savings. The smaller jackpot games do not appeal to them as much."

Van Petten says for those players, the Powerball is a form of entertainment. Meanwhile, people making less than $15,000 a year aren't trying their luck nearly as much.

Even so, some like Pastor John Piper and his team at Desiring God say the lottery system preys on the poor, citing a national study that shows people earning under $13,000 or less annually spend 9 percent of their income on lottery tickets.

Furthermore, others point out that there are often unintended consequences that come along with winning it big.

"If winning the lottery costs you friendships and relationships in your family, in your neighborhoods -- it's not worth it," Dave Mathis said.

The next official drawing is on Saturday.

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