We have all seen the pictures, the big checks and the grins because someone just became a whole lot richer. That is a dream people keep chasing. Even with a down turning economy, ticket sales for the North Carolina Education Lottery are looking up. The last time someone in North Carolina won the lottery was two years ago in Halifax. But that hasn't stopped anyone from spending cash to dream of cool millions. Last year, the lottery pulled in $152 million. This year, sales are up 25 percent. For people who play, it is all about keeping the faith. One dedicated lottery player, Fabian Carr said, "One thing about playing, you got to believe you could or else you're not. You can never give up on it, but you also have to balance your money and your spending.” This is a concept many have difficulty with. Janice Olds, a frequent player said, "If you don't play, you can't win. I'm tired of hearing about everybody else win, win, win. I would like to double my chances." A spokesperson from the North Carolina Lottery Commission believes the increase in ticket sales has nothing to do with the economy, and everything to do with people budgeting differently to take their chances. The reality is, your chances of winning a jackpot is one out of more than one hundred million people. "It provides a lot of false hope. I use to play it and I lost more than I won. After you look at your monthly income, you have more going out than coming in," said Wilmington resident David Dyer. A local gas station employee, D Wilson said, "They are going to play. They are going to find that dollar to play the lottery for a chance to win that jackpot." The current Powerball jackpot is at $15 million. A winner in New Mexico walked away with a $200 million pay off for the last Powerball drawing on Saturday.
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