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METAIRIE, La. - A $2 ticket could change someone's life forever on Wednesday. The Powerball jackpot has soared to a record $550 million dollars.

The number on the Powerball billboard changed Wednesday, because so many Americans are buying up tickets with dreams of becoming an instant millionaire - no matter how slim the odds really are.

Louisianians bought more than $1 million worth of tickets by noon onWednesday alone, according to the Louisiana Lottery Corporation.

Since October 4, Louisianians have spent $24 million in this particular Powerball run, officials said.

Tickets must be purchased by 9 p.m. Wednesday, and the drawing is at 10 p.m.

The Shell Gas Station on Airline Drive in Metairie has been busy selling tickets all week, including early Wednesday morning.

It was 'crazy' Tuesday evening and Jolene Conlon, the station manager, expects the same for Wednesday.

Those buying for big groups, including offices and churches, will be buying all day, Conlon said.

'I want to see it go to somebody that really needs it,' she said.

If Conlon won, she said the first thing she would do is take her granddaughter to Disneyworld, because 'that's her dream.'

A person has to buy nearly one million tickets to significantly increase the chance of winning, according to statisticians.

Odds don't stop some players from trying.

'I play the same numbers every time. It's a mixture of birth dates, and I do some numerology. So, I stick with those same numbers. I think it's semi-fixed, and I do know it works in certain areas and not others. I only come to Metairie to play mine,' said Dallas Decuir, a Powerball player.

Lottery retailers get a boost from the extra items bought by customers that come in to buy tickets.

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