Powerball fever spreads across First Coast | News
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - If you're going to play Powerball in Jacksonville, many say the place to buy a ticket is Welcome Food Store on San Jose Boulevard near Mandarin Road.
The store is considered lucky and so is a manager at the store, Rose Meisenholder. She sold a million dollar scratch-off ticket to a customer a couple of years ago.
"It was exciting," said Meisenholder. "It was great to see him so excited and he wasn't really sure, so he had me look at it again."
That winner gave Meisenholder a cut of his winnings, but she won't say how much. She does say that business at the store is booming for Wednesday evening's $320 million Powerball drawing.
That's the amount of the prize, even though several billboards across the First Coast show it's $305 million.
"When it gets up there - there's a lot of people that will come in - all day long - all night long," Meisenholder said.
Some of the recent winners from Jacksonville include Johnny Rivers, who played a scratch off game and won $1 million. The first thing he said he wanted to do was buy his mother a steak dinner.
Michael Smith, also of Jacksonville, claimed a prize of $500 a week for life after playing a scratch-off game.
But back at the Welcome Food Store all the talk Wednesday was about who might win the Powerball drawing. Meisenholder and Valerie Lewis, a clerk at the store, says it's about time one of their customers wins it.
Lewis breaks out in laughter when she says, "They've been talking about they're going to quit their jobs and retire or they're going to take us on vacation."
Barbara Wallis, a customer, says she'll wait until later in the evening to buy her tickets because she says she feels luckier when she buys them closer to the drawing. Wallis also says there's no need to buy a lot of tickets either. "You know what gets me? People go out and buy 5, 10 and 20. It only takes one ticket - you never know."
First Coast News is your official lottery station and will have the winning numbers for you Wednesday night during First Coast News at 11.