William Miner Jr. was aware of the long odds when he bought his Powerball tickets Wednesday at Sully's Mobil on Colman Street in New London.
"I realize that I have a better chance of getting struck by lightning, but when the jackpot is this high, you have to take a chance," he said of the 1-in-175-million chance of winning the estimated $550 million prize.
Miner said that if he wins, he would get a lawyer, hire a financial advisor and try to remain anonymous.
"Unfortunately, I probably would have to move," Miner said, laughing.
The previous record Powerball jackpot — $365 million — was won by a pool of workers at a meat-packing plant in Nebraska in February 2006.
There has been no Powerball winner since Oct. 6. The $550 million jackpot is second only to the $656 million Mega Millions jackpot won earlier this year by three ticket buyers in three separate states.
According to Connecticut Lottery officials, more than 2,600 tickets were sold every minute between 8 and 9 Wednesday morning.
If a Connecticut retailer sells the winning ticket, the establishment would receive $100,000 from the Connecticut Lottery. This run of Powerball has generated an estimated $7 million in revenue, which goes into the state's General Fund.
Local race car driver Shawn Monahan, who was at the Mobil gas station on Route 85 in Waterford, said he purchased Powerball tickets for the first time Tuesday.
"My wife nudged me," said Monahan, who gestured with his elbow. "She said, 'Imagine what we could do with all that money.'"
Monahan said that if he won, he would purchase racing teams, horses for his son and spread the wealth.
"I would have a lot of wealthy friends," Monahan said. "There would be no homeless people in southeastern Connecticut."
Mohammed Hossain, manager at 7-Eleven on Broad Street in New London, said customers were buying tickets like "crazy."
"I've had customers who have never bought tickets who are buying tickets," he said. "Everyone seems so excited."