Powerball fever takes over San Diego

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SAN DIEGO – Powerball fever has taken hold in San Diego.

Eighty-six percent of all the possible Powerball combinations have been picked already, meaning almost certainly Wednesday night, someone will win and walk away a billionaire.

The pot sits at $1.5 billion. If you take the cash, before taxes, you'd be left with $930 million.

“$800 million puts you in Forbes territory,” said a Powerball player in North Park. “I can’t, even in my wildest dreams.”

And he’s clearly not alone -- with over a billion on the line, it’s by far the largest jackpot ever. Saturdays’ drawing at $900 million dollars was the 19th consecutive drawing with no jackpot winner.

“It doesn’t matter how many you buy," said another player. "Your odds are the same. But if you don’t play, you can’t win.”

Even odds of 292 million to one isn’t stopping folks from "ponying up" $2 for a chance at a billion. And of course, the higher it goes, more people buy.

“I’m going to take my friends on a long trip around the world!” said another ticket-buyer.

He says he’s never played before last week but he won, and so he couldn’t resist re-investing.

“I played last week and got three out of three plus Powerball number for $170 bucks so, I reinvested $100.

Now, before you get set on the title billionaire, here’s the real sum: If you opt for the cash up front, after the feds take 39.6 percent off the top, you’re looking at roughly $679 million.

But if you really want to see a billion dollars, financial analysts advise to take the incremental payments over 29 to 30 years. Either way, for most, the sum is just too much to comprehend.

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