High hopes abound ahead of Wednesday night's drawing for a U.S. record $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot. For nearly all ticket buyers, dreams of vanishing debts, a mansion or a yacht will dissolve with the 10:59 p.m. ET drawing.
The Texas Lottery Commission expects $600 million in tickets will sell nationwide on Wednesday. For a one-hour span in Texas earlier, $7.81 million in tickets sold, or $2,169 per second. Even with the fervor, a winner is "by no means" guaranteed, said Gary Grief, executive director of the commission.
During a CNBC special report Wednesday, "Shark Tank" investor Kevin O'Leary advised the potential winner on what to do with the $1.5 billion jackpot. O'Leary, who flashed Powerball tickets of his own, said a winner should first take the lump sum to avoid the credit risk of a decades-long payout.
He recommended that a winner let the money sit for at least 30 days. Most of all, they should avoid giving money to family members, he said.