Entranced Powerball ticket buyers on Long Island chased $300 million jackpot dreams Saturday -- with some feeling more generous than others.
Winning numbers were 21, 24, 36, 42, 45 and 15, though lottery officials had not announced a winner by midnight Saturday.
Kawaljeet Ahuja, owner of a 7-Eleven on Route 110 in Melville, wasn't just selling tickets. She bought five of her own.
If she wins big, she says her family and employees will, too.
"I promised houses if I win," Ahuja said. "I just want to give it back to so many people who have given to me in life."
Last night's drawing was for the biggest Powerball jackpot since the record $590.5 million one on May 18. An 84-year-old Florida widow bought that winning ticket.
As the potential jackpot continues to swell, so have dreams of lives unfettered with financial worries. Hours before the 11 p.m. drawing, Long Islanders streamed to ticket outlets.
At a Valero gas station in Wyandanch, a clerk said, "Some people are buying $150 worth of tickets."
"I only play when it's really high," John Ditroia, 52, of Melville, said of the jackpot. He bought $16 worth of tickets at Ahuja's store.
Another dreamer, Keith Simon, 51, of Merrick, plunked down $10 for tickets at a local Gulf gas station on Sunrise Highway.
"You have to take a shot at it," he said.
If he wins, Simon says he'll buy a house on the North Shore and travel -- a lot.
New York State Powerball ticket sales have been "decent but not record-breaking," said Gaming Commission spokesman Lee Park. Sales averaged $750,000 an hour Saturday evening. That compares with about $1 million in hourly sales notched in May for the record jackpot.
The odds of winning the grand prize are about 1 in 175 million. Walking off with the cash payout -- estimated at $172.7 million -- requires players to select the correct numbers for the five white balls, plus the red Powerball.
Long Island's last Powerball jackpot winner was a group of Melville Costco workers, dubbed "1937 Flatbush Ave Dodgers LLC." They won the $201.9 million face-value jackpot on June 1, 2011.
The $2 Powerball tickets are sold in 43 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Among the numbers drawn since June 22, No. 8 has come up three times. The numbers 1, 2, 9, 22, 29, 30, 38, 39, 40, 53, 58 and 59 have all been drawn twice.
The numbers 3, 6, 13, 14, 18, 23, 24, 25, 27, 28, 31, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 40, 42, 44, 45, 46, 49, 51, 52, 54, 55 and 56 have each been drawn a single time.
Six has been the winning Powerball three times, with 4, 5, 7, 11, 16, 17, 27 and 33 also drawn as winning Powerballs.
With Mackenzie Issler and Nicholas Spangler