WBEZ | Powerball http://www.wbez.org/tags/powerball Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en What Would You Do if You Won the Powerball? http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-14/what-would-you-do-if-you-won-powerball-114486 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Lottery-Flickr-Wil C. Fry.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Last night&#39;s $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot drawing will be split three ways. The winning tickets were sold in Florida, Tennessee, and California, but the winners themselves have not yet been identified.</p><p>Today, Tony Sarabia asks you three questions those winners are facing this morning: Will you quit your job? Are you taking the lump sum or the annual payments? And what&#39;s the first thing you&#39;ll buy with the money? We open the phones.</p></p> Thu, 14 Jan 2016 15:08:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-14/what-would-you-do-if-you-won-powerball-114486 Great Expectations: Dickens and the Powerball http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/great-expectations-dickens-and-powerball-114483 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/gettyimages-152240673_custom-c5d702f93c88f6a8ce8df3223aedf4fb1e93dd57-s400-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Powerball bonanza, which has touched an unprecedented $1.5 billion, may be the largest jackpot in human history, but the frenzied ticket buying and wild hopes attending it are hardly new. Ask Charles Dickens.</p><p>In 1844-&#39;45, the novelist spent a year traveling though Italy with his family. In a series of vivid letters later collected into the travelogue<em>&nbsp;Pictures from Italy,&nbsp;</em>he recounted how he had been awestruck by the Coliseum, disappointed by the smallness of the tower of Pisa and left triumphant after climbing to the rim of Mount Vesuvius and looking down &quot;into the Hell of boiling fire below.&quot;</p><p>In the midst of all these exciting impressions, however, he devoted a curiously large amount of space to &quot;an extraordinary feature in the real life of Naples&quot; that fascinated him: the lottery.</p><p>While the lottery was popular across Italy, Dickens was amused by, but also appalled at, the hold it had in Naples, and the extremes to which Neapolitans went to choose a lucky number. Every news event, accident or untoward incident was interpreted as a sign. Priests with &quot;visions&quot; were eagerly consulted, as were &quot;people who have a talent for dreaming fortunately.&quot;</p><p>The lottery office in Naples had a large book called the&nbsp;<em>Universal Lottery Diviner,</em> &quot;where every possible accident and circumstance is provided for, and has a number against it.&quot; For instance, when a fire broke out at the king&#39;s palace, there was such a run on numbers allotted to &quot;king,&quot; &quot;palace&quot; and &quot;fire&quot; that the authorities had to hurriedly shut them down.</p><div id="res462932276"><aside aria-label="pullquote" role="complementary"><div><p>Dickens heard of a man being thrown fatally from his horse, only to be pounced on by a punter who begged him, &quot;If you have one gasp of breath left, mention your age for Heaven&#39;s sake, that I may play that number in the lottery.&quot;</p></div></aside></div><p>Dickens heard of a man being thrown fatally from his horse, only to be pounced on by a punter &mdash; a person who places a wager &mdash; who begged him, &quot;If you have one gasp of breath left, mention your age for Heaven&#39;s sake, that I may play that number in the lottery.&quot; Even grislier was the sight of speculators at a public execution counting &quot;the gouts of blood that spirt out, here or there&quot; in order to buy that number.</p><p>Like the Powerball, the Naples lottery was held at a fixed time and place &mdash; at the Court of Justice, a musty room attached to the local jail. One Saturday afternoon, Dickens attended a draw. The officials were the local judges &mdash; then as now, the lottery was a state-run affair, except that in Naples, the church played an officiating role. Dickens, no fan of the Roman Catholic Church, could barely conceal his contempt as he described a &quot;grave priest&quot; climbing into his vestments in order to sprinkle holy water over the box on which every eye in the room was fixed.</p><p>This box contained 100 numbers from zero to 100, from which five would be drawn. Only if three or more numbers bought by a player matched the lucky five &mdash; and had enough staked on them &mdash; did he stand to make a killing.</p><div id="con462926995" previewtitle="Related NPR Stories"><div id="res462927040"><div><div>&nbsp;</div></div></div></div><p>Since there were no computers, the numbers were drawn by a little boy dressed in a tight brown coat with no sleeve for the right arm. After waving his bare arm in the air and flexing his fingers like a magician to show there was nothing hidden between them, the boy would plunge his hand into the box and pull forth a number, which was read out to the waiting crowd.</p><p>The boy was a mere functionary, but even he was turned into a talisman: &quot;People begin to inquire his age, with a view to the next lottery; and the number of his brothers and sisters; and the age of his father and mother; and whether he has any moles or pimples upon him; and where, and how many.&quot;</p><p>As Dickens left the dank little room, he noticed the palpable disappointment among those shuffling out and was filled with pity for the ignorant populace who looked &quot;as miserable as the prisoners in the gaol.&quot;</p><p>Clearly, Dickens disapproved of the lottery, and his reasons were similar to contemporary concerns that lotteries are a cynical and regressive tax on the poor &mdash; the ones most likely to buy lottery tickets with money they can ill afford. &quot;They bring an immense revenue to the Government; and diffuse a taste for gambling among the poorest of the poor,&quot; he wrote, &quot;which is very comfortable to the coffers of the State, and very ruinous to themselves.&quot;</p><p>But though the social critic in Dickens objected to the lottery, its central spirit, that an outrageous turn of luck can transform an ordinary life certainly imbued his novels. Orphans like<em> </em>Oliver Twist and Pip in&nbsp;<em>Great Expectations</em>&nbsp;did not need to buy tickets to win fortunes &mdash; not when they had an eternally optimistic creator named Charles Dickens, who had only to reach into his fertile imagination to help them win the lottery called life.</p><p><em>Nina Martyris is a freelance journalist based in Knoxville, Tenn.</em></p></p> Thu, 14 Jan 2016 12:33:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/great-expectations-dickens-and-powerball-114483 Judge asked to block outside money for Illinois Lottery http://www.wbez.org/news/judge-asked-block-outside-money-illinois-lottery-113760 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_151467443760.jpg" style="height: 397px; width: 620px;" title="In this Oct. 23, 2015 file photo, Vera Washington of Chicago, buys lotto tickets at the K&amp;D Marathon station in Hammond, Ind. Illinois Lottery ticket sales have plummeted since lottery officials announced delaying payouts over $600 because of the state budget impasse. Data obtained by The Associated Press through an information request show gross sales in October _ including for instant tickets and Mega Millions _ were the lowest in 2015. In mid-October, the lottery announced anyone winning over $600 wouldn’t get their money right away because money in the account used to pay those winnings was running out, sending regular players across state boarders to buy tickets.(AP Photo/Paul Beaty, File)" /></p><p>An attorney representing Illinois Lottery winners who haven&#39;t been paid their winnings has asked a federal judge to prevent 38 other state lotteries from sending money to the agency.</p><div><p>The winners represented by attorney Thomas Zimmerman Jr. in a lawsuit haven&#39;t been paid because of <a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/caught-middle" target="_blank">Illinois&#39; lack of a budget. </a></p><p>Zimmerman filed a motion for a temporary restraining order late Tuesday asking the judge to bar the other lotteries and the association overseeing Mega Millions and Powerball from giving the Illinois Lottery the money owed to Illinois winners of those games.</p><p>Zimmerman asked that the money instead be held in an interest-bearing account. The&nbsp;<em><a href="http://trib.in/1MZKhwb" target="_blank">Chicago&nbsp;Tribune</a></em> reports a court hearing was scheduled Thursday.</p><p>Illinois Lottery ticket sales have plummeted since officials announced in mid-October it was delaying payments topping $600 because of the budget impasse.</p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 12 Nov 2015 14:46:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/judge-asked-block-outside-money-illinois-lottery-113760 Chicagoans look to win $550 million Powerball jackpot http://www.wbez.org/news/chicagoans-look-win-550-million-powerball-jackpot-104093 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Lotto Checkout.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F69241724&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>The $550 million Powerball jackpot has sparked a nationwide lotto frenzy.<br /><br />The jackpot deadline prompted many who seldom gamble, if ever, to run out to the nearest convenience stores and snag a ticket.<br /><br />Here in Chicago, people lined up in droves.<br /><br />Two 7-eleven convenience stores downtown got hit with a late afternoon rush on Wednesday as people, like Tiffany Cleary, spent their last buck at a chance to win big.<br /><br />&ldquo;This is my last money before I get paid,&rdquo; Cleary said. &ldquo;This is all I have until payday.&rdquo;<br /><br />For other customers like Bobby Talley, it&rsquo;s just a matter of persistence.<br /><br />&ldquo;I&rsquo;m feeling lucky today,&rdquo; Talley said. &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve been playing the same number for 30 years.&rdquo;</p><p>And of course, most ticket buyers have dreams of quitting their jobs after they hit the jackpot like Molly Garris. She and a group of her co-workers pulled together to buy fifty dollars worth of tickets.<br /><br />&ldquo;We are absolutely going to win powerball tonight,&rdquo; Garris said. &ldquo;I can&rsquo;t wait to quit my job tomorrow, it&rsquo;s going to be the best moment of my life.&rdquo;<br /><br />But these lotto enthusiasts should take heed to some advice from a former jackpot winner.<br /><br />Wesley Martin of Palatine won 3.75 million dollars last year.<br /><br />&ldquo;Don&rsquo;t let it change your life,&rdquo; Martin said. &ldquo;Live your life as you always have been and don&rsquo;t let anyone talk you into anything.&rdquo;<br /><br />Martin says he played the lottery for twenty years, so he was ready when he eventually won at the age of 65.<br /><br />And if you do lose, consider this-- in Illinois, about 82 cents of each two-dollar ticket is donated to a common school fund or to help with bridges and roads.<br />&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 28 Nov 2012 18:06:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicagoans-look-win-550-million-powerball-jackpot-104093 3 Asset managers win $254 million Powerball — Connecticut's largest jackpot http://www.wbez.org/story/3-asset-managers-win-254-million-powerball-%E2%80%94-connecticuts-largest-jackpot-94401 <p><p>ROCKY HILL, Conn. — Three asset managers from Connecticut's affluent New York suburbs claimed a $254 million Powerball jackpot on Monday off a $1 ticket.</p><p>Greg Skidmore, Brandon Lacoff and Tim Davidson came forward as trustees for The Putnam Avenue Family Trust, which they formed after Davidson bought the winning ticket at a Stamford gas station. At least two of them live in Greenwich, one of America's wealthiest towns.</p><p>They will take the after-tax lump sum of nearly $104 million in cash. They say a significant portion will go to charity.</p><p>Davidson bought the $1 quick pick ticket for the Nov. 2 drawing at the Shippan Point BP gas station in Stamford. It was the only ticket he bought. The winning numbers were 12-14-34-39-46, Powerball 36.</p><p>The jackpot was the largest ever won in Connecticut and the 12th biggest in Powerball history.</p><p>The three men work at a small, startup asset management firm called Belpointe LLC in Greenwich. They appeared with their lawyer at a news conference and didn't say much.</p><p>"It feels good," Skidmore said.</p><p>Lottery officials had used billboards across the state to urge the ticket holder to come forward as the weeks went by without a winner.</p><p>Ranjit Singh, the gas station manager, said lottery officials called the station at about 10:30 a.m. Monday to announce that the winning ticket had been sold there. The station receives $100,000 for selling the winning ticket.</p><p>Singh said he didn't know the winners and doesn't remember selling the winning ticket.</p><p>"We're really happy," Singh said. "Christmas is a little early."</p></p> Mon, 28 Nov 2011 21:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/3-asset-managers-win-254-million-powerball-%E2%80%94-connecticuts-largest-jackpot-94401