Ask some random Powerball-ticket dreamers whether they've got the slightest chance of winning the estimated $338.3 million payout and you'll hear riffs on the same skepticism.
"Nope," said Tim Quinn of Ridge.
"No," said a middle-aged man who wouldn't give his name.
"Nah," said Howard Carpenter of Middle Island.
Yet there all three men were Saturday at a Middle Island King Kullen supermarket, swapping a couple bucks for six numbers and a dream.
Saturday night's winning numbers were 17, 29, 31, 52, 53 and the Powerball was 31.
"Hey, I just want to be in it. You never know," said Quinn, 33, a construction worker, as his beaming 6-year-old son, James, sat in the shopping cart hoisting the ticket into the air.
That King Kullen, on Middle Country Road, sold one of Long Island's biggest tickets: a $208 million Mega Millions one bought in 2011 by a Californian spending Christmastime on Long Island with in-laws.
If someone wins, Saturday night's $338.3 million drawing will be paid out over time or in a smaller lump sum. Powerball is played in 42 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The odds of winning the grand prize? One in 175 million.
Mindful of high property and other taxes, Quinn said if he won, he'd get out of New York "so I could have some left to enjoy it."
Carpenter, 52, a truck driver, said he'd help out his family before considering how to enjoy the easy life. "I just hope I get lucky," he said.
Pat Springsteed, 76, a retired bank executive from Middle Island, used part of her $150 lottery winnings she'd just claimed to buy two tickets.
"That's $4, honey," the clerk told her.
She dreamed how she'd help family if she won, then let lottery computers pick the numbers, explaining: "For years, I picked them, and never won anything."
At a Gulf gas station on Northern Boulevard in Great Neck, attendant Singh Joginder, 52, said sales explode exponentially as a payout goes up, so no Powerball winner means the payout balloons and more customers come in for tickets.
"You want to play?" he asked a reporter.
Two dollars and a few taps on a computer later, Joginder handed over a ticket and a plea.
"OK, but if you win, you'll help me out?"