Fear of missing out fuels pressure to play Powerball

- Wednesday night, someone's Powerball ticket could leave them with $1.5 billion.

Another drawing is another chance for an average Joe - or Jane - to add the title "Powerball Jackpot Winner" to their name.

With a jackpot this big, the lotto bug has spread to players who have never done it before. People who've never so much as touched a scratch-off are now printing their Quick Picks.

What's the draw, aside from the huge potential payout? We're taking a look at the pressure to play.

"Hopefully, this time I will be the lucky one," said Jess Icapue as she waited to print her ticket.

 

#lotteryfever is in full swing! #powerball

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She was one of many lined up at the Wawa on Dale Mabry in Tampa. As the line grew, employees got their energy up with free pieces of hoagies and latte samples.

"Since it's the largest Powerball, apparently, in the history of the world, why wouldn't I want to at least say someday, I participated?" said Tom Geraghty. "I don't play the lottery, ever."

"I just started playing last week when the total was 800 million and the nobody won, so, it's more," Icapue said. "Just more opportunity to win."

The odds are unimaginably slim. But, someone's got to win.

"It's one of those things where I just want to be in it," Geraghty said.

There are some definite social factors at work, adding to the pressure to play.

"I think it comes down to saying, 'at least if I buy just one ticket, I tried,'" Dr. Yvonka De Ridder said. "Whereas, if you don't at least make the effort, 'I miss an opportunity. Could have been me.'"

De Ridder of Loving Life Therapy in Tampa knows all about "FOMO" or the "Fear Of Missing Out."

You don't want to be that one person who didn't chip into the office pool.

"Wanting to have the opportunity, it comes from several things," De Ridder said. "Feeling like you're a part of something, but feeling you have a chance at something larger."

Amid the frenzy, she teaches the importance of being present and focusing on what's really happening around you. Still, she said there is an upside to all of this. That $2 buys more than just a piece of paper.

"It can bring some people together. Sometimes, we need a brief distraction. Sometimes, we need that glimmer of hope in something," De Ridder said.

At least for now, everybody's rich in hope.

"What's meant to be is meant to be," Geraghty said.

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