Powerball ticket sales in Virginia expected to hit 1.4 million for massive jackpot

(AP/WJLA) - With the next drawing of Powerball soaring to near record heights, Virginians are joining in the frenzy.

Virginia lottery officials forecast the sale of about 1.4 million Powerball tickets for Wednesday's drawing, which officials say is the sixth largest jackpot in U.S. lotto history. The jackpot in the multi-state game is expected to be in the range of $400 million.

More than 27,000 tickets sold in the game for the past weekend's drawing won prizes. Five players each won $10,000, with the other winning sums much smaller.

The lucky winner of the $400 million jackpot could select to take the jackpot in 30 annual payments or chose a one-time cash option. That would reduce the winnings to about $228 million before taxes.

The odds are against lotto hopefuls, but they don’t care – folks are continuing to buy tickets. David Jones is putting his bet on his:

"I got the lucky number here -- the number that's going to come out is in my hand."

And if he wins, there is going to be one lucky church.

"St. John's Baptist Church -- I'm going to give them a million or two and I'm moving on," he said.

And four tickets for Elizabeth Freeman:

"Birthdays, anniversaries...I usually pick numbers that mean something to me. There is no science to it. I just do it that way."

Heera Khinna on Wednesday night not only got tickets for herself, but also for her friend, hoping either one of them will get lucky.

"That's what you do for friends," she said. "People are winning in all these other states. In Virginia, it seems like we haven't won in a long time, so I feel like it's going to be us this time."

So don’t be surprised if that gas station you go to is unusually packed on your way home.

At Beer K-1 Wine, it’s the same deal – people are looking to change their lives. Gloria Mallory is leaving fate up to the machine, and buying just one ticket and one ticket only.