Rising Powerball Jackpots May Encourage Gambling Addictions - WSPA.com

Rising Powerball Jackpots May Encourage Gambling Addictions

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Wednesday’s Powerball jackpot has climbed to $425 million, meaning the winner could take a lump sum prize of $244.7 million. Wednesday’s Powerball jackpot has climbed to $425 million, meaning the winner could take a lump sum prize of $244.7 million.
SPARTANBURG, S.C. -

It only takes $2 and six numbers to change your life.

The lure of gambling is hard to resist, especially when the Powerball jackpot reaches $425 million dollars.

“Trying to win the big money,” says lottery hopeful Robert Rookard, “you can't get rich overnight, but on this one right here you can."

Wednesday’s drawing is the fourth largest in U.S. history.

“I can't conceive of every having that kind of money,” said Charles Owens.

While the Powerball jackpot is meant to entice people to buy tickets, experts warn it can also encourage recovering gamblers to risk their livelihood.

“Often it is the thrill of winning they like or risk of playing the game,” said psychologist Dr. Caleb Lorring.

Problem gamblers are advised to stay away from temptation, however that can be hard to do when the jackpot reaches a certain size.

“I have had customers here that never usually buy them, but it has gotten so big they are going to try their chances,” says Esmeralda Herrere, a clerk at BP Fast Fuel #15 in Spartanburg.

During any given year, an estimated four to six million people are dealing with a gambling addiction, according to the National Council on Problem Gambling.

Gambling is very easy to hide as it has few recognizable symptoms, and experts say many problem gamblers themselves do not recognize they have an issue.

“People think they are kind of special and they are going to win the lottery, but chances are you not going to win it and that is what people lose sight of,” Lorring said.

Although the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are one in 175.2 million, the stakes are a lot higher for some people.

If you or someone you know has a problem, call the SC Gambling Helpline toll-free at 1-877-452-5155.

To learn more about problem gambling, click here.

  • Did you buy a ticket for the big Powerball drawing Wednesday night?

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