Malad City, Idaho ~ The Zillion Dollar Powerball Gold Rush!

Malad City, Idaho ~ The Zillion Dollar Powerball Gold Rush!

Malad City is a quiet little town that has its roots back in the old pioneer days of the 1800s.  There are plenty of historic sites to see and many of the old west buildings are still standing.  In modern times, Malad City is an old west destination that travelers stumble upon when driving on I-15.  That is of course, unless a Powerball Lottery Jackpot is worth several hundred million dollars, then Malad City becomes one of the most popular destinations on earth!

Why is Malad City one of the most popular Powerball Lottery Ticket purchasing destinations?  Simply put, the answer can be summed up in one word … Utah!  As most folks out west know, Utah is renowned for its clean living reputation.  The lottery is a form of gambling and sin filled vices like this are strictly forbidden by Utah State Law. 

Not everybody in northern Utah wishes to avoid temptation, especially when a carryover Powerball Jackpot is worth well over $900 Million Dollars!  Idaho is a state that participates in the Powerball Lottery and Malad City happens to be just north of the Utah border on I-15.  This means that the bulk of Powerball players in Salt Lake City simply cannot resist doing the two hour drive to Malad City, Idaho, just to purchase a few tickets when the jackpot is over the top!

A two hour drive just to get some lottery tickets? … According to GPS Mapping Systems, the drive from Salt Lake City to Malad only takes an hour and a half, but when carload after carload of people hit the road to this famous Powerball destination, the traffic has a way of backing up forever.  Not to mention that it can take quite a spell just to find a parking space anywhere near where the Powerball Lottery Tickets are being sold.  It is difficult to imagine that there are mile long waiting lines in the sleepy old west town of Malad City at all, but when the Powerball fever strikes, it is just like the gold rush of 1849 is happening all over again!

Once in Malad, choosing a good place to purchase Powerball tickets can make the difference in having to wait in line for a few extra hours.  Choosing the first place that one sees after getting off the freeway is what many people do.  Unfortunately the waiting line is guaranteed to extend at least 100 yards out into the parking lot at the places that are closest to the freeway.  It is better to just bear with the street traffic and head a little further into Malad to places where the waiting lines are shorter.

No matter where one chooses to buy Powerball tickets in Malad City on a big lottery carryover jackpot day, there is one thing for sure.  If it happens to be winter, those hopeful dreamers that have Powerball Fever had better be bundled up like an Eskimo, because the temperatures are downright icy cold in Idaho this time of year.  Then again, neither rain, sleet or snow will deter a dedicated Powerball player from getting a chance to win a zillion dollar conquest!

Personally, I rarely play the lottery and I have never been much for standing in slow moving long lines in snowy cold winter conditions.  Since I had nothing better to do than to kill time while waiting to start a job in Salt Lake City, I figured that experiencing the zillion dollar Powerball fever in person might be something fun to do.  Honestly, there was not much of anything better to do back in Salt Lake City and overall it was a fun experience. 

For the Malad City Powerball mission, I chose the Chat-N-Chew Bar, because the line out the door was only about 50 yards long. It sure was icy cold while standing in line in that bar parking lot and the snow was getting people worried about the drive home, but enduring a little bit of hardship for the possibility of winning riches beyond one’s own wildest dreams was everybody’s motive for not calling it quits.  People standing in line passed the time by having pleasant small conversations and those who wanted only drinks from the bar did not have to wait at all.  Pretty soon people were buying each other shots of whiskey to stay warm and things certainly got a little livelier. People chatted the long wait away with total strangers, as if they were old friends.  When they finally got to the ticket counter, it was like parting ways with old pals that will never be seen again and some folks actually exchanged numbers to stay in touch.   

Needless to say, once inside the bar, things were even more sociable. This made the painstaking long wait for Powerball tickets easier to endure. Purchasing Powerball Lottery Tickets at the Chat-N-Chew Bar presented many options once inside, like warming up with a a shot of traditional whiskey after coming in from the icy cold.  Hot coffee was available too, but most of the lottery folks did not stick around for long after finally purchasing the Powerball tickets because of the snow storm.  

Was the zillion dollar Powerball Lottery mission from Salt Lake City to Malad City, Idaho worth it? For myself the answer was a definite no as far as winning was concerned, but Malad City is well known for selling plenty of winning tickets in the past. Win lose or draw, joining in on the Malad City Powerball gold rush sure was a fun afternoon gig!      


Author: wildwestdestinations

I worked as a chef in remote resorts and National Parks, which provided the time to explore western travel destinations. I have a BA Degree in Culinary Management with high honors and currently I am working on a Masters Degree in Adult Education. My food and travel blog writing began as a means to generate income during college and now photo journalism has become my lifestyle.

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