Even those with little cash to spare are spending for a dream

CHICAGO (AP) — He may be unemployed, but that didn't keep a Chicago man from spending $12 today for a half dozen chances at the second-biggest lottery payout in U.S. history. The jackpot for tonight's Powerball drawing now stands at $550 million.

Lamar Fallie says if he wins, he'll take care of his church, make big donations to schools, and then -- as he put it -- "retire from being unemployed."

Lottery officials say tickets are selling at a rate of 130,000 a minute nationwide. That's about six times the volume from a week ago. So, the jackpot could climb even higher before tonight's drawing.

There have been 16 consecutive drawings without a winner, but Powerball officials say they now think there's a 75 percent chance someone will hold the winning numbers this time.

Some experts say if one ticket hits the right numbers, chances are good that there will be other winners as well.

%@AP Links

128-a-06-(Bob Delaney, Powerball player, in AP interview)-"even after taxes (laughs)"-Powerball player Bob Delaney explains why he's buying Powerball tickets. (28 Nov 2012)

<<CUT *128 (11/28/12)>> 00:06 "even after taxes (laughs)"

131-r-05-(Sound of Harry Scott, Powerball player, purchasing Powerball tickets)-"Powerball, separate ticket (sound of lottery machine dispensing tickets)"-Sound of Powerball player Harry Scotts asking a clerk for some tickets. (28 Nov 2012)

<<CUT *131 (11/28/12)>> 00:05 "Powerball, separate ticket (sound of lottery machine dispensing tickets)"

GRAPHICSBANK: Powerball ticket is handed to customer, Tampa, Florida, graphic element on gray (28 Nov 2012)

APPHOTO MIPS102: Donna Fields pays for her Powerball tickets in Detroit, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. Fields picked two sets of numbers off the top of her head and two easy picks in tonight's Powerball total with an estimated $550 million jackpot. Fields said, "If I won I would take care of God first, then my family and do some travelling, and oh yeah, quit my job." (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (28 Nov 2012)

<<APPHOTO MIPS102 (11/28/12)>>

APPHOTO MDPS103: Store clerk Keyur Patel pulls a Powerball ticket that was dispensed from a machine in a convenience store in Baltimore, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. There have been no Powerball winners since Oct. 6, and the jackpot has grown into the second highest in lottery history, behind only the $656 million Mega Millions prize in March. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) (28 Nov 2012)

<<APPHOTO MDPS103 (11/28/12)>>

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