44ºF

Powerball hits $700M, stores bracing for ticket buyers

Wednesday's prize is the second-largest lottery jackpot in its history.

ROANOKE, Va. – The Powerball craze is growing. At $700 million, Wednesday's prize is the second-largest lottery jackpot in its history. The massive payout has caused Powerball fever across the country. Gas stations and convenience stores are still bracing for more ticket buyers.

Between 5 and 6 p.m. Wednesday, Powerball tickets in Virginia will be selling at a rate of about 5,000 tickets per minute. One woman in Roanoke bought more than $100 worth of tickets today for her and her co-workers to test their luck.

"I just purchased 70 tickets, it was $140 worth. A bunch of us put in $10 so we're excited," said Sheila Lewis. 

The lottery isn't just a fun game; some of that money makes it back here to area schools. In fiscal year 2017, the Virginia Lottery had sales of nearly $2 billion.

About $500 million of that went to state public education grades K through 12.