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Riverhead residents are ready for $700M Powerball jackpot drawing

The Powerball jackpot reached $700 million — the second-highest jackpot in the game’s history — on Wednesday and local residents are lining up to get their lottery tickets.

Tickets cost $2 each and can be purchased until 10 p.m. for the 10:59 p.m. drawing Wednesday, according to a press release.

“People are greedy,” joked John Mestre of OK Mini Mart on East Main Street in Riverhead Wednesday. “Fifty million dollars wasn’t enough — everyone wants the $700 million.”

Riverhead Stationery clerk Manisha Patel said one of his customers purchased $500 worth of Powerball tickets Wednesday morning.

Angelica Sandoval, who works at 7-Eleven in Mattituck, also said her customers have been purchasing large quantities of tickets and she’s planning to purchase some, too, but plans to only spend $10.

Mattituck Gulf gas station employee Orhan “John” Ozturk said he’s seen people purchasing $40 to $100 worth of tickets at a time.

“I’ll play a couple dollars — that’s it,” Mr. Ozturk said. “It doesn’t hurt to try.”

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Powerball sales topped over $1 million an hour by 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, the release states.

Since New York joined Powerball in 2010, there have been six winning tickets purchased in the state with jackpots ranging between $48 million to $201 million, officials said.

The odds of winning Wednesday night’s jackpot are 292,201,338 to 1, according to the New York Lottery’s website.

The largest Powerball jackpot was $1.586 billion in 2016, which was split between three players in California, Florida and Tennessee.

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Photo: Powerball signs outside Riverhead Stationery on Wednesday. (Credit: Nicole Smith)