Sun Herald reporter Jeff Clark left for Slidell at 6:30 a.m. Friday to find gas stations filled with lines of people -- including South Mississippians -- picking their lucky numbers to be printed on a Powerball ticket. Then, the jackpot was $800 million. By the time the numbers are drawn Saturday night, officials say the jackpot will climb to about $1 billion.
Social media was flooded with photos of standstill traffic and patient patrons -- all waiting to purchase a ticket that could change their entire lives.
At work Saturday morning, Kelly Hawkins, news operations manager at the Sun Herald, mentioned that the best part of buying a lottery ticket is dreaming of what you'd do with the money.
And for a millennial -- $1 billion could mean no more student loan debt.
At least once a week, the university I attended calls me. On the other end of a line, there's always some timid freshman reading a script, asking me to donate money to the college.
My response is always the same, "I'm still paying off my student loans. Call again in about 40 years."
Winning the lottery could change everything. No more student debt. We wouldn't have to worry about deferring or doing an income-driven payment. We could actually donate to our alma mater.
Of course, winning the Powerball could mean lots of other things -- giving to charities, paying off car loans, financial stability, puppies, front row at the Rihanna concert -- but nothing is more appealing than a world free of emails from Sallie Mae.
I guess a guy can dream.