$1.6 billion Powerball jackpot is largest in history; San Jose liquor store sees increase in traffic

Powerball fever has swept California and much of the nation. The value of Saturday night’s drawing is up to $1.6 billion, which is the largest in history. Even those who don’t play the lottery often can’t seem to resist getting in on the action.

At Ceci’s liquor store in San Jose’s Berryessa neighborhood there was a steady stream of customers purchasing the Powerball tickets. This huge jackpot is bringing in all sorts of customers both regulars and infrequent players. 

Jonathan Perez says – for him – it was more of a whim.  "Actually I just got off work and we were discussing it and I said "I have to stop on my way home."  I have to go to the local liquor store to see if I am the lucky winner maybe. Fingers crossed," said Jonathan Perez. 

The store owner – Long Do – has been in business here for 17 years He said it is just about the busiest he has ever seen in. "Oh yeah when the jackpot is so big we are busy two or three days before you know. So you are definitely noticing an increase in business?  Oh yeah," Do said. 

Powerball is played in 45 states and the $1.6 Billion jackpot is the largest lottery prize in US history.   If you take the cash option – that is worth a cool $782 million before any taxes are taken out.

Still, the appeal for many is irresistible "Is this a pool or is it just for you? Just for me.   I would not want to share – no pool – somebody mentioned that and i said no, i have heard bad stories with those pools at work. Co-workers are out? Just me… if I win I will go MIA for a little bit definitely," said Jonathan Perez.

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Player Kieu Hoang said: "Let’s give it a try and see what happens. What are you going to do with the money? Retire, retire for sure." Hoang said.

The drawing for this $1.6 Billion jackpot is at 8pm Saturday night.