Record Powerball Drawing Dominates Traffic At Tulsa's QuikTrip

Wednesday, November 28th 2012, 6:23 pm
By: Emory Bryan

Plenty of Oklahomans are taking a chance Wednesday's record Powerball drawing.

They're hoping to win at least part of what's now estimated to a $550 million jackpot.

The lottery ticket printers haven't had a break since the jackpot surged into record territory.

QuikTrip has added staff to handle the demand.

Just about every customer who comes to the counter is buying a ticket.

"Everyone is coming over, having huge pools, people coming in running errands, it's just been nonstop," clerk Kristie Perez said.

Sales started increasing after the last drawing failed to produce a winner.

Now it's busy and QuikTrip expects that to build all the way until the sales stop Wednesday night an hour before the drawing.

"The lines are going to be very long and we're bring in extra help to keep up and we expect that to continue throughout the day," QuikTrip's Mike Thornbrugh said.

While the payout for a single winner would be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, the payout for the store that sells the winning ticket is small.

In Oklahoma, stores get just 6 cents for every $2 ticket they sell.

And if they sell the jackpot winner?

"In Oklahoma, if it comes from here, we would make $600 regardless, if it's $500, $600 million, that's just the way Oklahoma law is," Thornbrugh said.

A lot of people who figure they might win are buying tickets and lots of them.

"Wouldn't it be nice if someone from Tulsa won this?" a customer asked.

Clerks say they're seeing a lot of people who are unsure of how to buy tickets come in now, drawn by the huge jackpot.

"It's been absolutely crazy today, for Powerball and Power Play, people come in for one, they come in for a clump of 80, it's crazy," Perez said.

The sales continue until 9 p.m. Wednesday.

A QuikTrip spokesman said if there's a winner tonight the corporation expects it will take a couple of days to catch up with everything else they do in the stores, like stocking and cleaning.