Jessamine County

Powerball fever hits Brannon Crossing Kroger as people line up for 375 free tickets

Powerball ticket giveaway

Kentucky lottery gives out 375 tickets at Brannon Crossing Kroger before $1.5 billion jackpot. Giveaway events were held at four locations around the state. Video by Pablo Alcala | Herald-Leader
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Kentucky lottery gives out 375 tickets at Brannon Crossing Kroger before $1.5 billion jackpot. Giveaway events were held at four locations around the state. Video by Pablo Alcala | Herald-Leader

NUMBERS FROM WEDNESDAY’S POWERBALL DRAWING: 4-8-19-27-34 with Powerball 10

Powerball fever was evident at Kroger in Brannon Crossing in Nicholasville as people lined up to receive free tickets for Wednesday night’s drawing for a world-record $1.5 billion jackpot.

First in line was Brenda Blevins, 65, of Nicholasville, who exclaimed “Wooooo!” and held her hands high as she was handed her $2 ticket.

“I feel lucky today,” she said. “I feel like I’m going to win.”

Blevins, a first-time Powerball player, started the line two hours before the 2 p.m. giveaway.

She said that if she won she would use the money to pay her property taxes, help her son who suffers from seizures, and donate to God’s Pantry and to agencies for the homeless.

Wilton Leon DeWalt, 54, of Lexington was second in line. He said he would pay off the debt on his house, pay bills, and donate money to the hungry and needy.

“I believe in helping out people,” DeWalt said. “I’m a caring guy.”

The free tickets were handed out as a way to say thanks to players, said Chip Polston, vice president of communications for the Kentucky Lottery Corp. Tickets also were given away in Louisville, Covington and Bowling Green. A total number was 1,500.

The Nicholasville line began near the floral department, went past the crackers and cookies aisle, past the bottled water and imported beer aisle, then turned by the nut dispensers and stretched all the way into the kitchen-utensils aisle at the back of the store.

It took 27 minutes to give away all 375 tickets.

Kenneth Burton, 76, of Nicholasville rubbed his ticket for luck on a 40-pound foam-rubber Powerball costume worn by Pete Ramsey, vice president of sales for the Kentucky Lottery.

“That was the first time that I was that close to the Powerball,” Burton said. If he wins, he said he would give money to his family and to charities.

Polston said players look “for any potential edge that they think they may get in a drawing, when it truly is the luck of the draw.”

Before the giveaway, Ramsey, the man in the Powerball costume, had to sit down for a rest on a bench near the oranges and cantaloupes in the produce section. Many people wanted to shake his hand for luck, he said.

“The funniest thing was, I had a lady who asked if she won would she get a free T-shirt? And I said, ‘Honey, if you win, you can buy a T-shirt company,’” Ramsey said.

Some Kroger shoppers, such as Pete Smith of Lexington, had no desire to get in line.

“I already bought a couple of tickets,” Smith said. “I ain’t standing in line for an hour just to get one ticket.”

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