People line up for Powerball tickets at Oak Brook gas station
Updated: February 4, 2013 1:15AM
OAK BROOK — The two clerks at the Shell station at 22nd Street and Midwest Road must have had tired fingers Tuesday evening.
As people were finishing work for the day, many stopped on their way home to purchase tickets in hopes of winning the $550 million Powerball jackpot in a drawing scheduled for 9:59 p.m. Tuesday. And the two clerks continued to punch buttons on the machines that dispensed Powerball tickets.
Dee Velazquez of Hodgkins was well aware that her odds of winning the huge jackpot were beyond slight. But that didn’t discourage her from buying tickets.
“If you don’t play, you can never win,” she said. “It’s just fun to dream about what you’d do with all that money if you did win. I’d do all the regular things — buy a house, a car and pay off my bills.”
Vita Terenzio of Schiller Park bought some Powerball tickets at the Shell station and already had her first move planned in the event that she won the big prize.
“I’d collect the money first and make sure it’s real,” she said with a laugh. “After that, I’d pay off my bills and go on vacation. I’d also donate money to charity, but I’d want it to be something where I could actually see how the money was helping.”
Will Smith comes to the Chicago area monthly as a project manager for the federal government. He lives in Washington, D.C., but bought his Powerball tickets in Oak Brook after getting off work for the day.
“The tax money collected is going to help some local economy, which is good,” he said. “One thing I won’t do if I win is call my job to tell them I quit. I’ll just be off somewhere on a vacation. I’m sure they’ll get over it at my job.”
Smith said he wasn’t surprised to see a long line of people waiting to purchase Powerball tickets at the Shell station in Oak Brook.
“It’s a lot of money; it just shows what money can do,” he said.
Craig Zebell, a Michigan resident attending school in Chicago, stopped at the Shell station with friends to get gas. He wasn’t interested in the Powerball jackpot.
“I didn’t even know about it until I heard something this afternoon on the radio,” he said. “It is a lot of money, but I’ve never played the lottery, and I’m not going to do this one. I guess I’m just not interested.”