Tampa pals pool money for 72,500 Powerball tickets

Anjuli Davis reports

- Powerball fever is hitting a new high, and one mega-pool in Tampa thinks they have the best odds of scoring big thanks to the 72,500 Powerball tickets they now hold.

Ryan McGuiness and Shane Krugman started the pool with a minimum buy-in of $500. They closed out their group with a total of $145,000 worth of Powerball plays.

"Pure chaos. We started this thing as a simple Facebook post, hoping to get maybe five or 10 people in. And we closed it out with 290 people," McGuiness said.  "I would say 95 percent is friends, or friends of friends."

So how exactly does the situation shake out?  The duo already have a CPA and attorney on hand. They also have a process to notify everyone in the pool of their lucky numbers.

"We have to scan all the tickets that are in the pool, up front. We have all the splits posted, that way there's no question as to what tickets were in the pool," McGuiness explained.

The physical printing is handled at the Metro Market in Ybor City. Mo Samhoury, who co-owns the store, couldn't resist buying in himself. He and his family are clocking in long hours keeping up with the count.

"We literally had them deliver three extra boxes of paper today!" Samhoury laughed. 

While they're already flush with paper, the pair is hoping tonight just one ticket out of the 72,500 they printed beats the odds.

"We brought them all the way from 292-million-to-1 down to 4,450-to-1 for the whole jackpot. Winning a million dollars is down to 160-to-1 now. So still terrible odds, but great for lotto," Krugman smiled.

According to their calculations, after taxes, if no one outside their group shared the numbers, each person in their pool would go home with about $3 million.

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