LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- With the Powerball jackpot reaching a new record high of an estimated $550 million, Mainers dug a little deeper into their pockets in the hopes of peddling their pennies into a ticket worth mega millions.
The Maine State Lottery says lottery players in Maine were spending about $100,000 an hour on Powerball tickets on Wednesday morning, astronomically higher than average.
Deputy director of the Maine State Lottery, Tim Poulin, says the state sold $496,000 worth of tickets on Tuesday, an increase of over 700 percent compared to a week ago.
Poulin says Maine has never had a Powerball jackpot winner in the nine years the state has been participating in the multi-state game, but says the state is a winner already when it comes to additional revenue generated for the state's general fund by lottery sales.
At Lisbon Street News in Lewiston, one of the state's top shops for lottery sales year after year, business was brisk throughout the morning and into the early afternoon.
"This morning, people that buy one are buying ten. Some that buy two are buying twenty," said Bob Berube, who opened the doors to his store back in 1968. "We've had some that have bought as many as ninety this week."
He says they sell lots of winners because they sell lots of tickets, but he doesn't quite understand how they've never sold a jackpot winner in all those years.
"Like anything else, the more you sell, the more you are going to have winners," he explained. "With the volume we do, it doesn't make sense."
He hopes their luck will change, either for himself, or one of his customers.
The drawing will be held at 10:59 ET, but ticket sales in Maine stop at 9:50 ET. The Maine State Lottery estimates the Powerball jackpot could grow as high as $900 million if there is not a winner tonight.