People pick their lucky numbers for record Powerball lottery

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COLUMBIA - People lined up at gas stations and other sites all over the city Wednesday for their chance to win $1.5 billion. 

Some people took a chance with a quick pick. Others chose six lucky numbers for personal reasons. 

"I picked my numbers on my kids' birthdays, their ages and my mom and dad's birthdays put together and then my best friend and I's age and our birthdays put together," Robin Seavey said after buying ten Powerball tickets. 

Seavey was in Columbia with her dad and best friend and decided to test their luck and buy Powerball tickets.

The Powerball jackpot started making headlines when it reached $500 million, but people really started to take notice when the potential winnings tripled a week later.

Seavey said she played over the weekend when the jackpot totaled $900 million and won $50. She's now using that money to buy more tickets.

But not everyone decided to pick their numbers.

"I've never chosen any numbers," Dan Nerling said. "I can't see where one is any luckier than the other."

Nerling buys just one ticket whenever he plays the lottery.

"You can't win if you don't play and I'm dumb enough and lucky enough to win with one ticket," Nerling said.

He said he rarely plays the lottery. 

"You've got a better chance of getting hit by lightening twice when you walk out the front door to your car," Nerling said.

Clayton Atchison said it's rare for him to buy a Powerball ticket. 

"Normally I don't buy them ever, but $1.5 billion is a lot of money." 

He said he and his roommates usually buy the tickets and split the winnings.

"We bought like 15 tickets and got like $11 back so hopefully we get a lot more this time," Atchison said. 

He doesn't think picking the numbers this time will help his chances any more than random numbers.

"I read it doesn't really help you at all. The odds are the same."

According to, the odds of winning any prize is 1 in about 25 people, but to win the overall prize, the odds are one in almost 300 million.

But a lot of people still have plans for what they'd do with the money.

"I'd invite all my friends to go live on an island and I'd buy houses all over the place and then I'd invest a lot of it," Atchison said.

Nerling said he'd spend a lot of it on his family and Seavey said she'd want to help others with her winnings.

"I would like to open up a homeless shelter, because I believe there are a lot of homeless people out there with no place to go and I think that would be very beneficial to our community," Seavey said.

 But not everyone can win the big bucks.

"I'd like to win but so do probably a billion other people." Nerling