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April 19, 2014

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Five Las Vegans share what they’d do with $550 million Powerball jackpot

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

A cashier sorts through a stack of bills while selling lottery tickets at the Arizona Last Stop in White Hills, Ariz. Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012.

For Las Vegans, buying a ticket for a chance at Wednesday night’s record $550 million Powerball jackpot means an hour drive to Arizona plus waiting in a line hundreds of people long.

But those hours spent in line at the Arizona Last Stop or Rosie’s Den, the two lottery stores closest to Las Vegas, where the lottery isn’t legal, give people plenty of time to dream on how they would spend their hypothetical millions.

Here are five ways Powerball players said they would spend their winnings:

    • A castle in the mountains

      Standing in front of Rosie’s Den, Charles Dutton looks out to the mountains across U.S. 93 and imagines a future where he’s $550 million richer. “I’d build a full-scale replica of Castle Grayskull,” Dutton said, referencing the fortress from the 1980s cartoon and comic "Masters of the Universe."

      “I work at a lottery store, so I think about it a lot.” Dutton, 35, said he’d outfit his new castle with a fleet of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, a classic car collection and a private jet – “So I can smoke on the plane.”

      An employee at Rosie’s Den, Dutton said he’d also use the winnings to help the long-time family owned business rebuild after an August 2011 fire destroyed the main store.

    • An escape from it all

      For Serena Coles, winning the $550 million jackpot wouldn’t mean privatejets, fast cars or fancy hotels.

      “I’d want to live simply, get back to the basics,” the 30-year-old Henderson resident said.

      Coles said she and her mother, who was waiting with her in line for tickets outside the Arizona Last Stop, dream of having a farm to raise chickens in Utah.

      “I could not worry about having to pay my bills,” Coles said. “And I’d get cable (television).”

    • A place for friends

      A server at a Summerlin restaurant, 32-year-old Ryan Hauret said he’d use his lottery winnings to open his own dining establishment – one where he didn’t have to work.

      “I want to buy a bar on Fremont Street. We’d do classy cocktails and food,” said Hauret, who was waiting in line to buy lottery tickets with his girlfriend and his dog Riley. “I just want a place for my friends to hang out and drink free booze,” he said. “I’d set it up so I don’t have to work and I could travel all over the world.”

    • A room with a view

      With a large extended family, Rebecca Harvey said she would spread her lottery winnings around.

      “I’d give some to the head of each family and they could do what they want with it,” said Harvey, who has eight brothers and sisters. “I’d put the rest in a savings account for future generations.” For herself, Harvey said she’d use her millions to finish paying off her mortgage and then buy a condominium on the Strip. “So I don’t have to worry about the lawn,” she said with a laugh.

    • A house in Hawaii

      With a combined 40 Powerball tickets between them, relatives Angela Alder, Kelani Blackwell and Loleka Wall have their own plans for how they’d spend their share of lottery winnings.

      “We’d buy land and a house in Vegas and a house in Maui,” said Alder. “I have a daughter with disabilities, so we’d start up a foundation for medical research too.”

      Blackwell, an aspiring singer, said she’d use the money to help market her recordings and jump-start her career.

      Wall, Blackwell’s mother, had simpler plans for her winnings.

      “I’d go to the bank, cash out a million dollars and put it on my kitchen table so I could look at it,” she said.

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