OXFORD — Residents of Oxford Hills are not immune to the Powerball jackpot bug. 

Local convenience stores that sell Maine lottery tickets were inundated with business this past week with the buzz about a now $900 million jackpot up for grabs. 

“It only takes one,” according to the Powerball slogan. You can buy only one ticket at $2 and have chance to win that money. 

Of course, it’s a very small chance, but as Sideline Variety’s Amanda Paulicks put it, “If you don’t get in there, then there’s no chance.” 

Sideline Variety is a well-frequented store in Norway that has been known to produce winners in the past, with three big wins in scratch tickets. 

“It’s a well-known place in a small community,” Paulicks said. She said they’ve had a good 100 people a day in to buy Powerball tickets. Normally, it’s 40 to 50 people. 

Mallard Mart in Norway has also seen an influx of people playing for the big jackpot. Stephanie Witham said they’d had a really steady day. “A lot of people have been buying tickets.” 

“There have been a lot of people who have never played in their life buying tickets for this one,” Witham said. There have been regular players in, too, buying more tickets than normal, she said.

By noon, the mart had sold over $500 in Powerball tickets, which they said is definitely higher than normal.

Witham said their first costumer of the day came in and said he wanted $50 in Powerball tickets.

“People are excited for a chance at winning something,”Witham said. “When there’s such a big jackpot, people just get excited. It builds a lot of hype.”

Witham was excited about the prospect of someone from Maine winning the jackpot, especially if it was at Mallard Mart. “The store gets a commission, of course, but that would be pretty big for little old Norway, Maine.”

Future Foods in Mechanic Falls had also seen a busier than normal day for lottery tickets. 

Lisa Roderick, an employee at the store, said she had been pulled off a register just to sell Powerball tickets. 

“We’ve been right at it since 7:30 a.m.,” she said.

Roderick said it was about 50/50 as to whether players were buying a large amount of tickets or only one. “Some do $30 at a time, and some just do one. They’re feeling like that lightning might strike them three times.”

The $900 million Powerball jackpot is the largest in the history of the game, and those numbers are more likely to get higher with new Powerball rules. The numbers to choose from have increased, making it more difficult to win. 

If no winning ticket is pulled Saturday night, the next estimated jackpot will be upwards of $1 billion.  

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