Brought to you by WBIW News and Network Indiana
Last updated on Wednesday, November 28, 2012
(UNDATED) - With a $500 million Powerball jackpot now up for grabs Wednesday night, people are lining up across the country with dreams of cold hard cash.
In 2006, eight meatpacking workers - called the "Nebraska 8″ - struck gold in Lincoln, Neb., with a single ticket chosen by a computer. They won $365 million - the biggest lottery payout in U.S. history.
Seven of the eight winners still live in Lincoln. One person lives an hour away in Omaha.
"They really haven't changed that much at all," said Eric Zornes, one of the Nebraska 8.
Michael Terpstra took a $15 million lump sum and bought an unassuming $470,000 home.
Single lady Chastity Rutjens got married a few years ago to Rob Stewart, another one of the lucky eight. His ex-wife got half of his earnings.
Dave Gehle, a sanitation supervisor, showed up to work for three weeks after he won.
"We couldn't just leave them in a bind," he told ABC News.
Gehle said he took several vacations, bought a Nissan and sold his two-bedroom home for a house with three bedrooms.
Quang Dao, a refugee from Vietnam, used his money in Vietnam, where he built homes for his children.
It was covered in the documentary "Lucky." He now lives a simple, yet slightly more lavish life in Lincoln. His wife still grows her own vegetables.
For Americans hoping to score big like the Nebraska 8, experts shared these tips with ABC News today:
1. Quick Picks and personal numbers have the same chance of winning - one in 175 million.
2. The only way to increase the chances of winning the Powerball is to buy more tickets.
3. However, the more people buy tickets, the worse a person's chances get.
4. Search for lotteries that have smaller jackpots because they cause smaller frenzies.
5. Stay away from common lucky numbers like 3, 7 and 11 as well as numbers under 31 because they could be popular calendar dates like birthdays and anniversaries and would mean sharing the jackpot.
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