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How The Powerball Frenzy Almost Ruined A Grandmother's Funeral In Hawthorne

HAWTHORNE ( —  Pall bearers and Powerball don't mix. At least they don't in Hawthorne.

Friday night, hopes are high and the line is long outside lucky Bluebird Liquors.

That store has sold more than its share of lottery winners.

"It's one of the lucky stores, and why not?" said one prospective ticket buyer.

"I feel like my chances might be better if I get the ticket from here," said another.

But at the funeral home nearby, KCAL9's Peter Daut said people weren't thinking of the future as many people gathered to pay something else: their respects. They were attending a funeral for 87-year-old Julia Turcios.

"It is an end for my grandma, maybe a new beginning for someone else," said Turcio's grandson Selvin Sordo.

Turcio's family tried to keep a sense of humor about the crowd of ticket buyers lined up outside, but they made getting to her service at the Continental Funeral Home difficult.

"The funeral home has had to call the police to make sure there's enough parking for the family and friends that are here," Selvin said.

Lottery aficionados consider Bluebird one of the luckiest stores in California. The owner estimated roughly 5,000 customers Friday alone. Many of the people said they waited up to an hour. They could not resist the biggest jackpot in U.S. history.

"I'm going to buy a big giant mansion and dig a big moat all the way around it, and let people in as I raise the bridge," said one dreamer.

"Everybody says [they're giving to] charity, right? Well, I'm not gonna give it to charity," said another.

And guess who else Daut later found buying tickets at the store? That's right, members of Turcio's family.

"Why not? I mean, my grandma would probably want me to try," said Sordo.

Even with a jump in ticket sales, lottery officials said, fewer than two-thirds of all possible Powerball number combinations have been purchased.

Right. So, it's possible there won't be a winner Saturday night either. The jackpot would then soar past $1 billion, in which case the long lines outside Bluebird will get even longer.

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