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Big jackpot fuels powerful dreams
Powerball players try for a chance to win $245M
The Powerball jackpot is up to $245 million. Drawings are every Wednesday and Saturday. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

What would you do if you woke up in the morning with almost a quarter of a billion dollars in the bank?

After tonight's Powerball drawing a lucky winner could have to come up with a real answer.

"I'd quit my job and go to Tahiti. Outside of that I don't really know actually," Dharius Lawton of Duluth said as he purchased a lottery ticket at a Chevron gas station in Gainesville.

The Powerball jackpot has grown to $245 million after no one won the Saturday drawing. The lump sum cash value for the prize is $146.2 million before taxes.

Melissia Robertson, manager of the Chevron said she's noticed the impact of the multi-million dollar prize.

"We have been busier with people buying Powerball (tickets) because it's so high," Robertson said.

Powerball is driven by sales, so if no one guesses the winning numbers the prize will continue to increase until someone wins.

While the huge amount of money would mean the winner could do and buy almost anything the person wanted, several people said they would be generous with the cash.

"If I win the lottery, the first thing I would do — I won't quit work, no way — but I'd pay my tithes because my church is in desperate need. After that I'd take care of my mom. From then on I'd see about myself," said Teresa Cantrell, cashier at Wee Willy's No. 1 in Gainesville.

Mike Ivie of Cornelia already knows exactly who would benefit if he won, starting with Circle of Hope and the building of a veteran's wall in Habersham County.

"I would take at least half of it for other charities in the community," Ivie said.

Robertson listed off a few things she would buy like a new house, a car and her son's education but said she wasn't sure about the rest.

"That's just too much money for one person, you'd have to give most of it away," Robertson said.

While several people said they would take care of their more pressing needs and use the money to better themselves and their families, others had a more playful attitude about such serious cash.

"I would quit my job and play golf," Chris Taylor of Jefferson said smiling brightly. "I'd take one cruise every month and be on vacation."


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