Why weary players are ignoring the $1 billion Powerball drawing: 'It's not a big deal'

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They want to hit her even harder!

People didn't like Wednesday night's $1 billion Powerball drawing because the massive 10-figure jackpot has become so popular — with about half as many people flocking to buy tickets as they did two years ago, according to pundits and experts. Shop owners.

“It's known as jackpot fatigue. “People are less excited about the jackpot than they used to be, because these big numbers have become old news,” Victor Matheson, a professor of economics at Holy Cross College in Massachusetts, told The Washington Post.

The latest windfall comes after a mystery Mega Millions player won $1.1 billion in New Jersey last week and failed to attract many irregular ticket buyers, Big Apple retail workers said.

“It's known as jackpot fatigue,” Victor Matheson, a professor of economics at College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts, told The Washington Post. AP

“They realize it's going to cost a billion dollars over and over again, three or four times a year, so you don't have to come,” said Gautam Das, 62, an employee at a BP gas station in Bayside, Queens. . “You can catch the next one…so there's no urgency, no big deal.”

The employee said ticket sales used to triple at the gas station when the jackpots reached $1 billion, but bad luck attracts the crowds these days.

“It's not like before when people used to go crazy…they would come and line up all the way outside the station door,” Das said.

It's unclear whether anyone will win Wednesday night's $1.09 billion drawing.

But many New Yorkers are yawning at the eye-catching prize, which comes after lottery officials made it harder to win in recent months, leading to an increase in jackpots.

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Arthur Stavola buys his Power Ball ticket at the Bayside Smoke Shop on Bell Blvd in Bayside, New York. James Messerschmidt

The lottery is likely to be worth $1 billion more than it was a few years ago, Matheson said, because the lottery system has been reorganized to create lower odds.

A $1 increase in ticket prices and higher interest rates also make the lottery's so-called “annuity” – as the lottery prizes advertise – much higher.

“They've made it harder to win, so it's likely to happen several times before someone wins,” he said. “And with interest rates, you don't need to accumulate a lot to get to $1 billion.”

This phenomenon has led to a decline in sales and often causes the jackpot to grow more slowly after the initial spike.

The lottery is likely to be worth $1 billion more than it was a few years ago, Matheson said, because the lottery system has been reorganized to create lower odds. AP

“Only half as many people are buying tickets nationally with billion-dollar prizes than in 2022,” he said.

In October 2022, for example, the $1 billion Powerball drawing sold 131 million tickets nationwide. Matheson said that in the event of Wednesday's draw, “they would be very lucky to sell 70 million tickets.”

George Damoulakis, owner of Evers Pharmacy in Cambria Heights, Queens, said he no longer expects buzz around a $1 billion prize.

“People still played, but when it got over $1 billion…people came in droves! There was a line of people outside my house saying, ‘I never play, but it's too high,'” he recalls. “I should, you know “I want to get in there.”

Gautam Das, manager of BP Gas on Bell Boulevard in Bayside, New York, noted that people have noticed that although the betting is high, there is something wrong with the lottery system. James Messerschmidt

“But people aren't driven by numbers anymore. There's no urgency with a billion dollars now.”

At the Bayside Smoke Shop in Queens, only a few die-hard lottery enthusiasts bought tickets for Wednesday night's drawing.

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“It's not like five years ago. The big prizes will have a line. Now, there's no line,” said employee Sandeep Patel, 26.

“The usual way is that people who have never played the lottery come up and you hear them say, ‘This is my first time playing the lottery!’” he said. “no more.”




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