He walked into East Greenwich Farms after noon on Wednesday wearing a nice suit and a large gold ring, and carrying a fistful of dollars.
"I want 105 Powerball tickets," he said, refusing to identify himself. On a sheet of paper, he had the names of everyone from his office who'd contributed to the pool – 35 names in total.
Transactions like that have been taking place at convenience stores – and some restaurants – all around East Greenwich today. The Powerball jackpot was up to $550 million by midday, the biggest pot ever. No one, it seems, wanted to be left out.
The drawing at 11 p.m. tonight will more than likely turn up at least one winner. The jackpot is so big because there hasn't been a winner since mid-October, according to lottery officials. The odds of someone winning does increase along with the number of ticket sales, although it's possible – not probable, but possible – there could be no winner tonight either.
Tamara McKinney of EG walked in to East Greenwich Farms right after the man with the ring. She had $6 for tickets.
"It had to be big – I don't buy a ticket unless it's worth $200 million," she said. Why three tickets, not just 1, or 13, or 30? "I had 6 loose dollars in my car," McKinney said. "I didn't want to break a $20."
At Sunnybrook Farms down the street on Post Road, owner Mike DiRaimo said it had been busy all morning. They'd just been notified the jackpot total had jumped from $500 million to $550 million and he predicted by the end of the night it would be well over $600 million.
"I think the busiest time will be from 5 to 7, after work," DiRaimo said.
EG resident Nell Morsch came in and bought one ticket. She said it had been four years since the last time she'd bought a lottery ticket, but something spurred her this time.
"I alway say, I can't win if I don't play," Morsch said.
A man walking by, wheeling his bicycle, had also just bought one ticket. Adjusting his googles and helmet, he said, "I'm buying so maybe I can go on vacation." And away he rode.
Sales shut off at 9:45 p.m. Wednesday night and the drawing takes place at 11.
Are you going to buy a Powerball ticket, or have you already? What would you do if you won? Tell us in the comments, below.