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Greenwich quiet before storm of Powerball players

GREENWICH, Connecticut (CNN) -- There were no long lines of potential Powerball purchasers outside the Getty Mart in Greenwich on Friday, after the town called for a 24-hour moratorium on ticket sales.

Store employee Peter Canl is taking it in stride.

"We're upset the police shut it down, but it's just one day," he said. "We'll be busy again tomorrow."

Greenwich Police Chief Peter Robbins knows that all too well. Saturday's Powerball jackpot is estimated at $280 million, or $162.9 million if the winner chooses the cash option.

"We'll have about 50 officers working, and we've asked the Connecticut State Police for help as well," he said.

'Piles of money behind the counters'

Officers will arrive at the town's 25 businesses that sell Powerball tickets at 6 a.m. Saturday and will stay until 10 p.m. when ticket sales end.

"The officers will be on hand to manage the crowds," Robbins said. "We're not expecting any trouble."

Robbins said the officers will also be on the lookout for any potential trouble should someone try to strike it rich before the drawing.

"We're concerned because the businesses get so busy that they just dump piles of money behind the counter," he said. "So we worry about robberies taking place."

On Wednesday, lines of up to 600 people snaked out the doors of some stores, with some waits as long as three hours.

New Yorkers coming up Interstate 95 make up most of those lines, but even some Connecticut residents go out of their way to buy their tickets in the affluent suburb.

"Some people think it's not worth buying a ticket unless you buy it in Greenwich," Robbins said. "I'm not sure why since no one's won from here in the past. Back in 1998 we got labeled as the Powerball capital because the volume of tickets sold here were greater than any other state, including Connecticut."

And all those seeking the cache of buying a ticket in Connecticut will be back in Robbins' town Saturday.

But until then, he's enjoying the peace and quiet.

"I took great pleasure in riding through Stamford looking at the long lines," he said. "It was nice to see someone else with the burden instead of us."

And if there is no winner Saturday night? "I don't even want to think about it," Robbins groaned.

• Multi-State Lottery Association

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