Powerball fever was in full pitch over the past week in the New Milford area as the jackpot grew to a record $1.5 billion before Wednesday’s drawing.

Owners of Hit-N-Run Variety, a small Kent Road convenience store in New Milford, said they sold 1,100 Powerball tickets last week.

“We’ve had people coming in who didn’t know tickets had gone from $1 to $2, and that change happened about three years ago,” said Arun Sharma, whose family has owned the store since 2002.

“In about every transaction, people by a Powerball ticket, with our heaviest sales on the day of the drawing,” Sharma said.

Powerball ticket sales topped $2,400 last Thursday at the Citgo Wheels No. 61 gas station/convenience store on Danbury Road in New Milford.

“Most of our customers who come in will buy at least one ticket,” store employee Thomas Donault said. “To sell $2,400 in one day is very unusual. We sell, maybe, around $200 in a day. But you know what they say, ‘You can’t win if you don’t play.’ ”

Business owners who sell the Powerball jackpot winning ticket receive $100,000. They receive $2,500 if they sell a Match5 ticket, according to Linda Turnowsky, spokeswoman for CT Lottery.

“There’s no rhyme or reason to picking the winning number,” Turnowsky said. “A quick pick isn’t any better than choosing your numbers.”

The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are more than 292 million to 1, according to CT Lottery. Winning $1 million by a five-number winning pick are about 11.6 million to 1.

The $800 million jackpot was expected to continue to grow on Saturday. The previous record was a $656 million Mega Millions prize won in 2012 by players in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland.

Lottery officials say sales have continued to increase each time a winner hasn’t been drawn. The jackpot for the twice-weekly game started at $40 million on Nov. 4 and has been growing ever since.

stuz@newstimes.com; 203-731-3352