Long Island moms join pool with 6,000 tickets to increase Powerball odds

PLAINVIEW (WABC) -- It is hard to imagine a jackpot of more than one and a half billion dollars, but that's how much is on the line in Wednesday night's world-record Powerball.

People are lining up all across the country to buy tickets, with lottery officials saying that 1.million tickets are being sold every minute leading up to the drawing. And if there is no winner, the jackpot could soar to more than a staggering $2 billion.


Some people on Long Island are hoping their chances are better than average because they are taking part in a large pool with more than 1,000 people.

"Like giddy," Debbie Gershow-Lindell said. "People are just giddy about this."

And she and fellow mom Ali Kusinitz, of Plainview and Old Bethpage, respectively, are in it to win it, up to their eyeballs.

"I'm a little nauseous," Kusinitz said. "Just a nauseous, nervous, excited feeling for days."

The two of them figured they'd get about 15 or so of the other moms when they first started throwing around the ticket pool idea on the Plainview moms Facebook page. That was last week, after there was no winner.

But what do you get when you mix Powerball fever with a chatty mommies on social media? They lined up.

"And the line was down the side of the building, around the side of the building," Kusinitz said.

"It's like 20 degrees, windy freezing cold, bitter cold," Gershow-Lindell added. "People were hanging out like it was a party, talking to neighbors, chanting 'Powerball!'"

But lest you think these mommies can't multi-task, note the strict pool rules.

Their Powerball pool is now closed at 1,225 people with a whopping 6,012 tickets. Only one entry is allowed per household, and it will be split evenly at around $750,000 per person, after taxes, if they win.

And the best part is that these moms have increased their odds of winning from 1 in 292 million to one in just 49,000. But that is still likely not good enough.

"Forty-nine thousand is a bigger number than you might think," Hofstra University statistician Professor Bruce Torff said. "Forty-nine thousand seconds ago is Thanksgiving. Forty-nine thousand days ago was in 1883."

But win, lose or draw, it's all about having a good time at the end of the day.

"It was a fun thing," Kusinitz said. "The night the town came together to play the lottery."
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