08/02/06 — Who wants to be a millionaire?

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Who wants to be a millionaire?

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on August 2, 2006 1:46 PM

If all goes according to plan, Benny Dunn and his girlfriend will be on a beach somewhere by the end of the month.

Dunn, like thousands of other Powerball hopefuls across Wayne County, hopes his choice of numbers pay off -- to the tune of $178 million.

"Man, I'll tell you, it would be all right with me," Dunn said. "Just give me a piece of that jackpot and I'm gone. Put me on a sunny beach with a fishing pole, and I'll be happy for the rest of my life."

Robert Thompson had a different destination in mind this morning as he purchased his ticket at the Friendly Mart on Indian Springs Road.

"I always wanted to go to Venice where the streets are filled with water," he said. "I've always had that on my mind."

Thompson said he wouldn't need the whole $178 million to make it to Italy. In fact, he's pretty sure the winner's take isn't quite as large as the jackpot suggests.

"They split it down the middle and give you half," he said. "And then after they take out taxes, you wind up with about $75 million."

Still, that would be enough, Thompson added.

Tyler Wilson said he hasn't missed a drawing yet. He only spends $1 for each drawing, to make sure a win would mean more than breaking even.

"I don't want to spend $100 million to get the win," he said. "I'll just keep playing my numbers until they hit. And they will."

Wilson, 27, goes through the same routine each time he purchases a ticket. He grabs a Mountain Dew out of the cooler at the Kangaroo on U.S. 70 East, takes a long sip and pays for it with his ticket.

"I've always been really superstitious," he said. "People think I'm crazy, but they won't when I bring home all that money."

Jerome McCullen had sold six Powerball tickets between 6 and 7 this morning. He, too, buys them from time to time, but he said he probably won't today.

Still, his grandparents and his mother will. They buy them every time, he said, and they have a system -- they buy so many Powerball tickets, and so many Tic Tac Toe, and another bunch of Pay Days.

McCullen said if he ever wins the jackpot, he would probably give half of it to education, because his nephew and niece are in the public schools system.

"I'd probably give it to start a community outreach (program) so the kids will have somewhere to go," he said. "That's what it's all about, anyway."

Willie Sutherland said a win wouldn't change his life.

"Money is a great thing but so is the truck, house and family I've already got," he said. "People need to remember that lottery winnings can't buy what you already have. For me, I'm doing pretty great without all that money."

Still, a win would be nice, Sutherland said.

"I'm not saying that I wouldn't go buy a bunch a meat and have a cookout in the back yard," he said. "I would. Plenty too, for the whole neighborhood."