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Big jackpot brings big bucks

BY LINDLEY ESTES

With $500 million, Aaron Stoner of Fredericksburg said he’d open a restaurant.

Stoner would do that if one of the six $2 Powerball tickets he bought Tuesday at Powell’s Friendly Market on Lafayette Boulevard held the winning numbers.

“I would open up a really nice place, with steak and seafood, here in my hometown,” he said.

Stoner currently works as  a baker at Icing Bakery & Cafe in Stafford but says his dream has always been to run a restaurant.

John Hagerty, spokesman for the Virginia Lottery, said sales for the Powerball jackpot are strong nationwide.

He said $6 million in ticket revenue is expected in Virginia alone.

“At times tomorrow [Wednesday] they will be selling 3,700 tickets per minute,” he said on Tuesday.

At $500 million, this is the biggest Powerball jackpot to date and it has rolled over 15 times.

Hagerty said the last time retailers saw a turnout like this was in March when the MegaMillions jackpot reached $656 million.

The previous record for the Powerball jackpot was in 2006, before it was offered in Virginia.

Rocky Jewell of Fredericksburg also visited Powell’s market, buying two Powerball tickets.

He said the store was convenient on his route home and “is a small and out of the way place  to bring me luck.”

Owner Harry Patel said the store has been busier than usual with lottery customers.

He is also buying tickets and said he hopes his store sells a big winner.

The Fasmart on Leavell’s Road in Spotsylvania was also busy.

It has had a big winner before. In April, Spotsylvania resident David Feaganes bought a $ 1 million winning MegaMillions ticket there.

Manager Carolyn Hare said the store is a popular lottery ticket stop.

Before 2 p.m. Tuesday they sold $1,172 in lottery tickets, she said.

One customer spent $270 just on Powerball.

In Stafford, the 7-Eleven  in Grafton Village bustled with lottery ticket customers all day.

Rocky Roberts, a technology teacher at Dixon-Smith Middle School, bought 96 tickets for the school’s pool.

Thirty-two people chipped in.

He said if they win, they’ll rent a school bus to drive to Richmond and pick up the money.

Shelby Frantum and her neighbor Todd Bozenbury also stopped by the 7-Eleven to buy Powerball tickets.

Another of their neighbors, Douglas Thompson, works at the store and they said they always buy lottery tickets from him.

Frantum said if she wins she’ll take her family and neighbors to Hawaii.

Bozenbury bought three tickets but Frantum bought only one.

“It only takes one to win,” she said.

Lindley Estes:  540/735-1976

lestes@freelancestar.com

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