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Powerball jackpot grows to $579.9 million

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Powerball fever is hitting the D.C. area. With a jackpot that grew to $579.9 million jackpot Wednesday afternoon, the masses are lining up to purchase a ticket.

Richard Johnson specifically targeted a Giant supermarket in Herndon to buy his lottery ticket. Last year, the store sold a $107 million lottery dollar ticket.

“I heard someone won here before and thought, maybe lightning might strike twice, in the same spot,” Johnson says.

In fact, the Sterling resident has traveled all across the region to places that have previously sold winning tickets. He bought some tickets in West Virginia as well as Virginia.

Theresa Kemp is among those hoping to win the second highest jackpot
in lottery history.

"Oh, I'd travel. Pay off all my bills and travel," Kemp said of what she'd do with the winnings.

Others say they'd start a business.

Lottery player Catherine Mattingly mulled, "I was thinking when I left yoga maybe I'd open a yoga studio."

Even though the odds of winning the half billion dollar jackpot are
one in 175 million, many are utilizing strategic methods for picking those magic numbers.

Katie Moore's includes playing numbers that have already won.

“Most of the time I go in the back … of the Powerball winnings and I pick some of the numbers from there,” Moore says. “Some of the great numbers, some of the numbers that repeat.”

But one seven-time lottery winner disagrees with that.

His advice: Do your homework avoid sets of numbers that have already won.

Pick your numbers and don't leave it to the machine. Most winning numbers weren't computer generated.

Avoid lottery fever. The odds are relatively the same whether you spend a lot or not.

And if in doubt, you can try this strategy:

“I say a prayer,” says D.C. resident Bernard Smith, who says he’s hit four numbers several times.

Some hopefuls took to Twitter to share what they would do with the money.

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