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'It only takes one ticket:' Alabamians head to Tennessee to play Powerball

Lucky's Place Lottery in Fayetteville, Tennessee (
Lucky's Place Lottery in Fayetteville, Tennessee (
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Many are hoping to win big Wednesday night. The Powerball jackpot was up to $1.2 billion, marking the fourth largest jackpot in US history.

Alabamians had to head over state lines to Florida, Mississippi, Georgia and Tennessee to try their luck.

As soon as you cross into Tennessee, there are a hand full of lottery shops, known as the Magic Mile. There were people from Huntsville and Arab, and others even drove as far from Sylvan Springs and Hueytown to buy a ticket.

Everyone we spoke with said the same thing, that it's a shame they can't get their lottery in Alabama. They also said they don't mind driving into Tennessee to play, especially if they end up a winner Wednesday night.

“I've been here in Huntsville and the surrounding areas ever since John F. Kennedy landed at the airport, so I'm not a spring chicken. I've seen the traffic get more and more and more and more, but it's not that bad," said Gregory Payne from Arab. “I wish Alabama would go ahead and have the lottery. Everyone in Alabama is spending thousand and billions of dollars to support Tennessee instead of Alabama.”

Also buying tickets Wednesday afternoon was Rhonda Henson.

“A lot of money going out of state, it could be used in Alabama," she said.

Henson drove nearly two and a half hours from Hueytown.

“I'm going to spend about 50 dollars," said Henson. "I lost my job yesterday so I'm hoping to win.”

Henson said if she did win she would, “pay off my house, buy another one, give all my relatives, all my friends. That’s a lot of money, I'll never spend it all in my lifetime.”

Along with Henson, was also Burt Williams from Sylvan Springs.

“I would help out my friends and family and buy me a new house," said Williams.

Williams wasn't the only one with plans for the winnings.

Glen Hayden only drove about 20 minutes to get his ticket.

“First I got to win, I would take care of family, pay bills, go off by myself somewhere. Get away from everybody," said Hayden.

Hayden was feeling optimistic ahead of the drawing.

“I always feel lucky, doesn’t mean I'm going to win, but I feel lucky so," said Hayden. “It only takes one ticket. Somebody's gotta win it, hopefully it'll be me.”

Theresa Elliot drove 45 minutes from Huntsville.

“To get one of these lucky tickets, hopefully I'll win tonight and I would like to say they need to bring it to Alabama so I wouldn’t have to drive so far to get a ticket," said Elliot. “I have family members I could bless, and organizations I'd bless.”

Elliot said she's been to the magic mile several times.

“I know more than ten especially when the drawing is this high I come in and try my luck," she said.

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Although the advertised top prize is an estimated $1.2 billion, that's for winners who take their money paid out over 29 years. If someone were to opt for the cash prize, they would take home about $596 million.

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