Lotto fever is reaching a peak here in Texas and it's no surprise why—this drawing's players stand to win $550 million in Powerball and a stupefying $750 million in Mega Millions. Needless to say, many Austinites are trying their luck this time around.
The next Mega Millions drawing will name winners tonight and the Powerball drawing is tomorrow. The odds of winning the jackpot are one in 302,575,350.
Local gas station employees, all of whom asked to remain anonymous, said they see upwards of 100 ticket sales per day when lotto numbers reach this high. Just this morning, someone bought $300 worth of Mega Millions tickets at a 7-Eleven downtown.
A gas station manager on South Lamar said people get excited to play the lottery, and even though he's fairly sure he isn't going to win, he always buys one ticket. Last week, he said he sold 100 tickets to the same person. One time, he even sold $500 worth of tickets to a single person.
At the Valero on 628 E. Oltorf St., managers said they see wins in the $150-$500 range pretty frequently and they've even seen a few customers win higher jackpots.
Despite saying she almost never played the lottery, one woman, who also asked to remain anonymous, bought a ticket each for Powerball and Mega Millions. Though she doesn't expect to win, she said she would be generous if she did.
"I would buy a house and give a ton of it to charity," she said. "I would give it to try and help animals, end factory farming and help the environment."
Though the chances are ultimately very slim, the last Mega Millions draw saw one $1 million winner and 10 $10,000 winners from Texas, while the last Powerball draw saw two $1 million winners and eight $50,000 winners from Texas. You can't win if you don't try!
You can check your results here.
When Gov. Greg Abbott announced that he would rescind business capacity limits and a statewide masking mandate on Texas Independence Day, he framed it as a step forward. "With this executive order, we are ensuring that all businesses and families in Texas have the freedom to determine their own destiny," he said during a press conference at a Mexican restaurant in Lubbock.
But some local restaurants and bars, which have been caught in the regulatory crosshairs since Texas' first positive COVID test 364 days ago, have chosen to ignore Abbott's overture. Instead, they will continue to maintain pandemic precautions once the executive order takes effect next week, citing a desire to keep their staff and patrons safe.
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(AUSTIN, TEXAS) Austonia has hired Claire Partain as a reporter covering Austin FC, the MLS expansion team that will be Austin's first major league sports franchise.
Partain is a former sports editor for the The University Star, Texas State University's daily newspaper. She edited, covered sports, produced podcasts, and hosted a pre-game TXST football tailgate live series. Partain has been freelancing with the company since January, prior to accepting a staff position.
A native of Fairfield, Texas, Partain grew up playing youth soccer. In her high school years, she played alongside her mother in what was then called the Freestone County Hispanic Women's Soccer League.
Claire's coverage philosophy: "I like to bring out the humanity of sports, and I want to make this the most accessible sports coverage possible."
She notes that soccer is the predominant sport for young people. "It's a global sport, and we're more connected to the world than older generations."
That approach fits the team's already visible presence in Austin, says Austonia CEO Mark Dewey. "Austin FC has established itself as a leading Austin brand, one that stands for a more unified Austin community, a bigger global presence for Austin and fun. Austonia shares those values."
Partain's soccer coverage begins immediately, with her free, hosted text service—Austonia FC. For updates, special access and inside info, all moderated by Claire, sign up below.
Austonia is the city's independent, free, locally-owned and all-digital source for Austin news, information and entertainment.
Connect with Austonia through its daily email newsletter and text updates, @austonianews Instagram feed, @austonianews and @austinist Twitter feeds, @austonianews Facebook page and its website austonia.com.
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Austin Public Health will release another batch of first dose COVID-19 vaccine appointments for Thursday on Wednesday evening. A department spokesperson estimates between 3,000 and 4,000 slots will be available.
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