East Tennessee Powerball Fever

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Knoxville (WVLT) -- You might be against in it principle.

Even when it's state-sponsored and even when Tennessee's take helps pay the college bills.

But how many of your friends and neighbors could resist plunking down a buck for a shot at $300 dollars.

It was only the fourth largest Powerball jackpot ever?

Some Powerball players were shelling out dollars without blink or thinking on Saturday night.

"It's a long shot, but everybody's got the same chance to win," said Joseph Long who was hoping to hit all six numbers.

Dawn Reeves sells tickets as the assistant manager of the Conoco on Sutherland Avenue in Knoxville.

"A lot of new players have been playing the last couple of weeks," she says. "When you start talking about 300 million, all of a sudden it's a big deal."

For a lot of people, whether their own fix, or the Powerball computer's quick picks, they only play when it gets high.

"It's life changing," Long said. "I think I could blow ten million after taxes and all, but 300 would be hard to mess up."

Dawn figures the high jackpot makes messing up that much easier.

"I hope somebody will win it who'll do some good for some other people," she said. "That's an awful lot of money, nobody needs it."

Truth be told, a lot of people need it, or sure could use it.

Peter Spink received the Tennessee Lottery's Hope Scholarships when he graduated high school.

He had kept it for the last three years.

"I still could have made it through Tennessee without it, but it sure has helped," he said. "I haven't had to make student loans and do a lot of the things I couldn't have done without all that money."

Enough money that Peter had to re-think what brought it his way.

"At first, we were worried whether we were going take it or not because we're kind of against gambling and all the lottery type stuff," he said. "I guess once we saw how much money it, was we ended up deciding it was worth the money."

Given that good, Peter says, it would almost be wrong not to take it, which makes it all the more ironic, that if Joseph Long's
numbers come in, he's likely to drop everything.

"I would quit school, first of all, and probably never return here again," he said. "I'd say be in some foreign place like an island."

"If it's making that much more money for education, I'd say it's a good thing," Peter said.

Peter also say's he isn't sure he'll ever buy a Powerball ticket

But Long wants to play, despite long odds.

"Hopefully, fifth, sixth, seventh, twentieth million times the charm here," he says with tickets in hand.

The Powerball jackpot has not been won since June 27th, nearly 8.5 weeks ago.

Saturday's winning numbers were 2-8-23-29-35-19