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Powerball draws hopefuls to lucky spot in Billlings

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Posted at 11:40 PM, Nov 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-08 08:34:47-05

BILLINGS Powerball fever spreading fast in Montana with the record $1.9 billion jackpot .

A lot of people stood in line at McFiny's to buy Powerball tickets on Monday.

McFiny's has been the lucky place through the years for lottery tickets, with a lot of winners buying tickets.

Many people standing in line seemed to have their special reason for buying lottery tickets.

Thomas Templeton picked birthdates, anniversary dates, and other special numbers in memory of his wife.

"She's kind of with me," Templeton said. "We were married for 40 years."

Templeton's wife played the lottery, but he never played until this year.

"She passed away this year and I just kind of picked up on it again for her," Templeton said.

And some know the history of lottery ticket sales and McFiny's with Montana millionaire and other winners several times.

"It's got a four-leaf clover in the name," said Paul Aamodt, McFiny's cashier. "They think that this store has got some kind of magical power some you know. So everybody comes here."

"It's just seemed lucky," said Jason Ansans, who purchased tickets. "Maybe it's luck of the Irish or something."

"This is the lucky place," said Ming Cabrera, who also purchased tickets. "Absolutely."

Cabrera and his aunt Lydia Bautista from London bought Powerball tickets.

"Only one goal because I'm old now, so it's better to spend them," Bautista said. "Isn't it ming?"

"Better to spend," Cabrera said. "I don't know what I'm going to do with the money. But actually, I bought the ticket for my wife. So hopefully she'll share it with me."

Cabrera, Bautista and the others have altruistic ambitions if they win.

"It'll all go to charity if I win," said Jim Koessler, who purchased Powerball tickets. "I got everything I want. It'd be just fun to be very charitable."

"I will take half of it and set up a fund for the wounded veterans," said Ram Hormuz, who also bought tickets at McFiny's.

"Get the immediate families debt paid off everything, get everybody debt free," said Ansans, who along with his daughter, purchased tickets. "And then we'd really like to just give a lot of our money away, honestly."

If lucky enough to win the $1.9 billion, a man who represented 30 lottery winners nationwide suggests hiring an attorney and staying anonymous by using a trust or LLC name on the back of the winning ticket.

"It's also very important to get a financial partner involved," said Kurt Panouses, a lottery lawyer in Florida.

And he also advises taking the more than $929 million lump sum.

"You don't really want to rely on a check every year because it's like winning the lottery every year," Panouses said. "So you go through the same emotions. You go through the same concerns over anonymity."

And back at McFiny's, it's been busier than usual the last month.

"I don't even have to buy a ticket if half the people that have told me they're going to come back and tip me do," Aamodt said. "I'm hoping somebody in Montana wins."