Nightly News | November 28, 2012
>>> now what has become a giant sector of the economy all by itself. the powerball drawing, the jackpot is now $550 million and counting. many are in the game and hoping. nbc's stephanie gosk has more.
>> reporter: good evening, brian, well, earlier this year, powerball doubled the price of tickets from one to two dollars, that drove up the numbers, and more people play. early until the state of new york , 1.5 million tickets were being sold an hour.
>> the winning ticket.
>> reporter: money does not buy you happiness, but it can buy a whole bunch of other stuff. so people are lined up all over the country for a chance at the second largest lottery jackpot in history.
>> you got to be in it to win it.
>> reporter: 42 states from coast to coast .
>> got the winning ticket right here.
>> reporter: undaunted by the odds.
>> when i win, i'm moving tomorrow.
>> reporter: most know they will probably lose.
>> the lottery is a tax for the poor, more than rich. so the people who can afford it the least are putting the most into it.
>> reporter: half the ticket sales go into the state, a good boost for the ailing budget, in new jersey, it helps veterans, in colorado, they're improving state parks , in georgia, most going for education. the numbers are funded by the lottery. hannah grant feels like she hit the jackpot without even having to play.
>> i would not be able to get into a large university like georgia state .
>> reporter: the other half of the ticket sales goes to the grand prize . at $550 million, a single winner can choose a lump sum of $360 million, like earning $173,000 an hour, or $2900 a minute, for an entire year. but the federal government will want its cut, $90 million in taxes. not an immediate concern for the dreamers.
>> today is the day .
>> i want to give something to my grandchildren.
>> for one, i would stop working.
>> i would buy a house.
>> i would give some to charity.
>> reporter: this family won more than $2 million two months ago. this morning, on today, they had advice for the next winner.
>> don't go out and get everything now, you will have time for all of that. just grow into the money.
>> reporter: winning a lot of money can be difficult to handle.
>> i just thought i would take a chance now, why not?
>> reporter: even so it is a problem many wish they had. the lottery winners say there is a 75% chance there is a winner. but if not, tomorrow they will announce an even bigger jackpot.
>> you never know, it may be the last fine we ever see stephanie gosk reporting on powerball tonight. good luck,