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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --The second biggest Powerball drawing in U.S. history has now reached $700 million, and that number could rise as more people buy tickets.

The winning numbers will be chosen Wednesdaty night in Tallahassee, Florida. Some experts from Powerball gave ABC's Good Morning America a little insight on the overall odds of taking home the grand prize.

Powerball officials have added more numbers to the mix, which they said would make it easier for players to win smaller prizes. But more numbers have reduced the odds of winning to 1 in 292 million from 1 in 175 million.

"More play happens at the higher level so your odds of sharing it are greater at the greater jackpot levels," Powerball chairman Charlie McIntyre told ABC News.

There has not been a winning Powerball ticket since June 14, when the jackpot was $40 million.

Powerball officials told ABC News they expect to sell 170 million tickets between last Saturday and tonight's drawing.

Buying more tickets may seem like the secret to success, but McIntyre reiterated that is not the case.

"Your odds are just as good as anyone else," he said. "I've paid winners who bought one ticket, I've paid winners who bought 100 tickets, so it doesn't matter you just have to have one ticket at least."

"It's a completely random event," he added.

McIntyre also said luck can strike anywhere. "I've paid them from stores that sold 10 tickets in a day ... and millions in a year, so it's completely random."

Experts also suggest that players use the full range of numbers available and not limit their chances by playing a sequence such as a birthday, since months only have 31 numbers and Powerball numbers go up to 69.

If there is a winner, he or she could choose an annuity option to receive 30 payments over 29 years or take a cash option, which would be $443.3 million, according to Powerball.

The biggest Powerball jackpot in history was $1.6 billion in January 2016. Winners in California, Florida and Tennessee split the prize.

Powerball is played in 44 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Walmart is partnering with Google in an effort to dip its toes into the voice-shopping market as voice-activated devices become more mainstream, the companies announced Wednesday.

The partnership will allow Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, to offer hundreds of thousands of items via Google Assistant beginning in late September -- the largest number of items currently offered by any retailer through the voice-controlled platform, Walmart said Wednesday.

According to Walmart, the partnership would allow it to "create customer experiences that don't currently exist within voice shopping anywhere else."

“When it comes to voice shopping, we want to make it as easy as possible for our customers,” Walmart's head of e-commerce, Marc Lore, wrote in a blog post on Wednesday. “We know this means being compared side-by-side with other retailers, and we think that’s the way it should be.”

Walmart also plans to integrate its quick reordering tool into the tech company’s same-day delivery service, Google Express, according to Lore.

Google has “significant investments in natural language processing and artificial intelligence to deliver a powerful voice shopping experience," he added. "That’s why it makes sense for us to team up with Google."

Google called it an “exciting partnership” in a blog post on its website early Wednesday.

“We’re thrilled to partner with one of the most popular stores in America to help make your shopping faster and easier,” Google said in a statement.

Voice-enabled speaker usage is forecast to grow nearly 130 percent this year, according to consumer research provider eMarketer.

Amazon currently controls about 70 percent of the voice-enabled speaker device market with its Echo device, while Google controls about 24 percent of the market, according to eMarketer's research.

The rest of the market share is divvied up among smaller competitors, including Lenovo, LG, Harmon Kardon and Mattel.

“Consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with the technology, which is driving engagement,” Martín Utreras, vice president of forecasting at eMarketer, said in a recent research note. “As prices decrease and functionality increases, consumers are finding more reasons to adopt these devices.”

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Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- When Heather McDonald realized that she “hated” her job as an assistant buyer for a major department store, she decided to stand up--in a comedy club.

“I’d been thinking about it since I was a little girl.”

“People used to tell me, even my music teacher in high school, 'I don’t understand why you’re going to college. You should just be a stand-up,'” McDonald told ABC News Chief Business, Technology and Economics Correspondent Rebecca Jarvis on an episode of ABC Radio’s “No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis."

McDonald is a comedian, writer, bestselling author and host of the podcast “JUICY SCOOP with Heather McDonald.” But, like most comedians, her success wasn’t exactly immediate.

After receiving her degree in Communications and Business from the University of Southern California, McDonald recalled how she thought of working in casting or production instead, just for the steady paycheck.

But a close friend told her,“Everything in media is so hard, just do the thing that you really want to do.”

"Don’t think that producing a TV show is going to be easier than being the star on it," McDonald was told. "It’s all going to be a hard path."

Loved this week's #NoLimits convo with hilarious @HeatherMcDonald host of #JuicyScoop. Listen here:

— Rebecca Jarvis (@RebeccaJarvis) August 22, 2017

So McDonald embarked upon her comedic career with an evening class at The Learning Annex, then by taking sketch and improv classes at The Groundlings Theater in Los Angeles.

Her leap of faith, and her big break, happened when she heard that fellow comedian Chelsea Handler was working on a new E! show, “Chelsea Lately.”

“I said, 'If I don’t get a real job now in the business, I will never be able to get one. Because I’ve been doing the mom thing and not been a staff writer in a really long time.'”

“So I reached out to her,” McDonald said. Handler hired her as a writer, producer and guest and McDonald stayed for the entire 7-year run of the show.

McDonald reflected on the delicate balancing act she’s been doing for years: working in comedy and being a mother to three kids. She underlined that, then and now, she owes it all to a strong partnership with her spouse.

“You know, my husband was so great," she said. "He has never once told me, 'Don’t go on that gig, don’t go out on that girls night.' He was just so confident. And now, we’re more of a team.”

In fact, her family is an integral part of her career. Her husband is involved with the production of her podcast "JUICY SCOOP with Heather McDonald."

“He really helps produce the podcast and helps me with everything," she told Jarvis. "And it’s really grown."

She said her son was her home office companion when she was writing her first book.

“He’d come in my office and he’d drink my peach ice tea and he would come around my chair. And I was like, 'Oh, I always imagined being a mom. I always wanted to be a mom.'”

McDonald stuck it out because of an intuitive belief that comedy had always been her calling. Much like the Joan Rivers and Roseannes that came before her, McDonald wants to be an example for future female comedians.

“I so much prefer that my success is based on regular people like me, and not three network execs who are male and are only attracted to male comedy.”

“Don’t be so judgy, you know?" McDonald added. "Everyone has their own path."

Hear more of Heather McDonald’s interview on this week’s episode of “No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis” available on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, Spotify and the ABC News app.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Wall Street closed in the green on Tuesday as investors were feeling more optimistic about tax reform.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 196.14 ( 0.90 percent) to finish at 21,899.89.

The Nasdaq jumped 84.35 ( 1.36 percent) to close at 6,297.48, while the S&P 500 finished at 2,452.51, up 24.14 ( 0.99 percent) from its open.

Crude oil was more than 0.5 percent higher with prices under $48 per barrel.

Winners and Losers: 
Shares of DSW Inc. soared 17.46 percent after the footwear retailer's earnings report and same-store sales beat investors' expectations.

Macy's announced the hiring of a former eBay executive as its president and shares rose 4.56 percent.

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Rebecca K Clark Photography(NEW YORK) -- Love was in the air for many couples during the total solar eclipse.

As the skies darkened and the temperatures dropped, they used the rare occasion as the perfect opportunity to pop the question.

Aaron Hrenak and Kaitlin McNeely of St. Charles, Missouri, were one of those couples. Hrenak, 27, said he chose to propose during the eclipse because "she wouldn't expect it."

"It was surreal," he told ABC News. "Right before I proposed I asked if she could place the eclipse between her fingers like she was holding a diamond ring. Then I got down on a knee and proposed. It's almost like she will have that moment on her finger for the rest of her life."

"I don't think photos can communicate how incredible an eclipse is," Hrenak added. "The way the light is affected is incredible, almost surreal. Very few phenomena are as impressive as this was. It really was a perfect moment. We will both remember it forever."

According to Instagram, the eclipse was a bigger event for users than the 2017 Super Bowl, with more than 50 million people posting, commenting or liking something related to it. Of the top 10 eclipse-related hashtags used by Instagrammers, #love came in at No. 9.

Congrats to the lovebirds celebrating the celestial moment.

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Purestock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here is a recap of this week's episode of "What Would You Do?" with ABC's John Quiñones.

What would you do: Shopping while transgender

A transgender woman is shopping for a dress at a women’s boutique. The sales clerk refuses to sell clothes to her because she is transgender. How will the other customers react? Watch what happens:

What would you do: Pedi harassment

A nail technician discriminates against a woman for being overweight, charging her extra money simply based on her size. Will anyone say something to the technician? Watch what happens:

What would you do: Baby or bag

A mother has been shopping excessively, spending nearly all her cash on shoes and clothes. She has just enough money for groceries for the week, but then spots one more outfit she would like to purchase. Her daughter tries to stop her but she is determined. What will the other shoppers say? Watch what happens:

What would you do: Overprotective mom

A mother is with her son at a sporting goods store. She is trying to buy the son a new pair of soccer cleats, when the son sees a pair of football cleats. He tells his mom he wants to play football instead, and she immediately shuts the idea down. Mom cites the health concerns regarding the sport, especially given the recent attention paid to CTE, caused by repeated blows to the head. The son tries to plead with the mom, but she isn’t budging. Will any of the other customers interject? Watch what happens:

What would you do: The breakup

A guy is breaking up with his girlfriend of one year while on a park bench. He is being loud, and his girlfriend is clearly distraught. As she sits there crying, will anyone try to console her? Watch what happens:

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- No one wants to think about Thanksgiving now. Not when there’s still a sliver of summer left.

But it’s an absolute must for anyone who will be traveling during the November holiday, especially those who will head to the airport on the two most popular days of the year to fly. That’s right -- the two most popular days are the Wednesday before and Sunday after Thanksgiving, according to FareCompare CEO Rick Seaney.

And since Thanksgiving falls on Nov. 23 this year, the most popular days to fly will be Nov. 22 and Nov. 26. The dates will vary, but it’s always the same combination.

Picture the worst airport lines you’ve ever experienced, and you get an idea of how bad it’ll be. But it gets even worse because these are also the two most expensive days of the year to fly.

The very popularity of these two travel days is the reason they cost so much. Today’s airlines know exactly when we want to fly, and they price their fares accordingly. It’s not unique to the airlines, as a friend learned recently when pricing Idaho hotels for the eclipse where a room in a mid-range chain that normally goes for $140 had jumped to $590. Turkey Day travelers must also be prepared to pay steeper than normal fares, but there are ways to bring costs down.

What can travelers do? Here are some tips from Seaney:

Start now: Plan your itinerary as soon as possible, especially if you have to ask the boss for time off. Then see if you can create an itinerary that avoids flights on Wednesday and Sunday. To be honest, the other days won’t be cheap, but they’ll almost always be cheaper than Wednesday or Sunday.

Choose the best days to fly: Flying on Thanksgiving Day is often the cheapest date in the entire holiday, and if you take off early enough, you won’t miss a moment of the celebration. Lesser savings can be achieved by departing Monday or Tuesday before the holiday and the Saturday or Monday after. Use an airfare comparison site such as FareCompare, but there are many out there. Then juggle days to see which is cheapest for your route.

Shop immediately: This is only true for those who must fly Wednesday and Sunday, but they should shop and buy tickets now because prices are now rising every day for this itinerary. Airfare goes up on average by $.50 to $.75 a day, and then $1.50 in September and $2.50 by October. Again, those are per-day increases and it adds up, so the worst procrastinators could wind up paying on average an extra $200 per ticket or more. If you don’t plan to fly the most popular days and will take off maybe Monday or Tuesday before and return Saturday or Monday after, you can wait a couple more weeks before the price rise begins. But do not wait long.

Fifty cents may not seem like much now, so it’s easy to ignore. But you could suddenly find yourself paying hundreds more than you planned. Thanksgiving is pricey enough anyway, so don’t delay. There is no point whatsoever in paying a penny more than you have to.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Joan Cros Garcia/Corbis via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Mastercard has decided to shut down the use of their credit cards on websites that incite hate and violence.

In a statement released Saturday afternoon, the company spoke of the recent violence that occurred in Charlottesville and the "dangers of extremism." They are now  working with acquirers to shut down the use of their cards on sites that make specific threats or incite violence because this activity can be unlawful.

Part of the company's business principles is that they  do not and will not permit merchants to engage in unlawful activity on their network.

After careful review of a number of websites, Mastercard began shutting down service on sites that could have been considered as "hate groups".

The company stated, "We believe that offensive speech will be seen for what it is and that it will lose its force in the free marketplace of ideas. For that reason, our cards may still be accepted at some sites that people find offensive. Our standard is whether a merchant’s activity is lawful, even when we disagree with what they say or do. That supports the ideals of free expression."

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Ethan Miller/Getty Images(SINGAPORE) -- World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is making its video streaming service available to the Chinese market in an attempt to tap into a new customer base.

WWE's service will be available through its Chinese  partners PPTV.

Subscribers will be required to downlaod an app to access the conent.

Past events have "received a great response from WWE fans in China," according to Godfrey Zeng, executive vice president of Suning Sports Media, parent company of PPTV.

Over the years, China has held a number of WWE events and there is a local WWE-style wrestling organisation but this is the first time there will be an entire channel devoted to the WWE will be made available.

All of WWE's major live events and orginial series will be on the network, as well as reality shows and classic matches.

One of the organization marquee events, SummerSlam will be available live in Mandarin on Monday.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  Heineken has been given the green light by the Competition and Markets Authority(CMA) to takeover part of Punch Taverns.

Heineken will buy 1,895 Punch pubs and the Private equity firm Patron Capital will buy the remaining 1,329 pubs in the Punch estate.

The CMA released a statement saying that, "Heineken has offered to sell pubs in each of the affected areas to preserve competition and ensure customers in these locations do not lose out."

"Before reaching a final decision, the CMA carefully assessed and consulted publicly on these proposed undertakings. The CMA is satisfied that its concerns have been addressed and has therefore decided that the merger will not be referred for an in-depth phase 2 investigation," it added.

Heineken already owns 1,100 pubs.

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James D. Morgan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- So you’ve done your research to choose a cruise line that suits your personality and selected a specific ship and itinerary that looks perfect.

Before your dream vacation commences, however, there are still several final details that require your consideration. These are some of the most crucial questions from to ask yourself prior to stepping aboard.

1. Do I have the proper documentation?

Aside from a few rare exceptions, most cruise ships are foreign-registered and thus, by law, must sail to at least one international destination. This is true even of cruises, say, to Alaska roundtrip from Seattle; they have to make a stop in Canada.

That means passengers need to have proper documentation for travel between countries. It’s always best to consult with the cruise line to know exactly what is needed for a particular cruise, but requirements could include passports and/or additional visas.

2. Is everything included that I think is part of the package?

Hopefully, this one came up during your research of the cruise line itself, but in case it didn’t, be sure you fully understand exactly what is included in your fare. Cruises are generally a rather inclusive form of travel, but the degree to which they are varies, with luxury ships often including more than the more mainstream cruise lines.

Accommodations and most food and entertainment are usually included in the fare cost, but drinks outside of nonalcoholic basics are typically not. The more you pay upfront, the more will be included. Some luxury lines do cover alcoholic beverages as part of the upfront price.

3. Have I budgeted for gratuities?

Speaking of what is included, gratuities or service charges are either among the extras or bundled in. For those cruise lines that tack it onto the bill -- while these technically remain discretionary, they may be automatically added to guests’ accounts per day.

It’s wise to know what the daily service charge may be to avoid surprises at the end of the cruise. Alternatively, the option is usually available to prepay the total so as not to have to worry about costs once onboard.

4. Did I pack the right clothes?

Cruise lines are becoming more and more casual, but formal nights are still sometimes held. Check the dress code for your cruise and be certain you have enough for elegant and relaxed affairs.

Of course, with airline weight limits on luggage to consider, you must also be efficient about packing. Check to see what self- and full-service laundry is available onboard. It might be better to pack lighter and send some clothes out to be cleaned on the ship.

5. Should I purchase shore excursions ahead of time?

As much as cruise ships are becoming destinations themselves, they still seek to take us to actual places, and shore excursions are the best means of discovery. But there’s nothing worse than getting there and finding out that a tour has been sold out already.

It’s always a good idea to pre-plan as much as possible and book shore excursions before a cruise to avoid upset. In some cases, you may be able to save some money by buying them independently. Just be mindful: If there's ever a delay in returning onboard, the ship will only wait for tours reserved through the line.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Wall Street marked a second week of losses as U.S. stocks finished lower on Friday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 76.22 (-0.35 percent) to finish at 21,674.51.

The Nasdaq slid 5.39 (-0.09 percent) to close at 6,216.53, while the S&P 500 finished at 2,425.55, down 4.46 (-0.18 percent) from its open.

Crude oil was 3 percent higher with prices under $49 per barrel.

Winners and Losers:  Shares of Foot Locker, Inc. tumbled 27.92 percent after the athletic retailer's quarterly earnings report fell below investors' expectations.

Snap Inc. climbed 4.94 percent after Axios reported Snapchat's joint news show with NBC, "Stay Tuned," has had more than 29 million unique visitors since its launch a month ago.

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Fayette County Public Schools(LEXINGTON, Ky.) -- After spending seven years working as a custodian at a Kentucky high school, Lowell Outland walked back into the same school as a full-time teacher on Wednesday.

Outland, 59, is now teaching many of the same students who saw him cleaning the campus and helping them on field trips at Tates Creek High School in Lexington.

“It gives you a whole different feeling,” Outland told ABC News. “The kids would come up and say, ‘Hey, weren’t you a custodian last year?’”

Outland said his career change prompted one of the school’s approximately 1,800 students to tell him, “Man, I think that’s cool.”

Outland wasn't able to finish high school himself in the 1970s, but he earned his GED while in the military. He went on to earn an associate's degree.

Outland said when he started at Tates Creek after being laid off from a local electronics company that was downsizing, he had no interest in working in the classroom.

He dropped out of high school in the 1970s and earned his GED while in the military. He later went on to earn an associate’s degree.

Then, while working at Tate’s Creek at night, he took college classes in the morning and earned his bachelor’s degree from a nearby university.

He said being around the high school students led him to change his career path and go into education.

“I got to know the kids and there are some of them that are absolutely wonderful and I enjoyed being around them,” he said. “I felt like it was time for me to start contributing a little bit.”

Lowell said he studied before the start of his 1 p.m. custodian shift. When Lowell left his custodial job in July, it marked the end of his 12-year educational journey from associate's degree to teaching certificate.

"I think my past experience will give [students] something to think about,” said Lowell, who is teaching digital photography and graphic communications. “I’m showing them what they can do with their lives.”

The school’s principal, Marty Mills, said he had no hesitation in hiring Lowell, whom he said has a natural rapport with students.

“I’m just happy that we’re able to keep him here,” Mills said. “I just believe it’s a great story for our kids and for everybody -- that when it gets hard, you don’t just give up.”

Lowell, 59, said he “can’t comprehend” his age and so is undaunted about starting a new career at a time when many of his peers are considering retirement.

When asked whether being around high school students gives him energy, Lowell replied honestly: “Sometimes it does and sometimes it just wears me out.”

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Even though parts of the U.S. will be in partial darkness thanks to the total solar eclipse on Monday, consumers across the country will be able to score some shining deals both inside and outside of the eclipse's path of totality.

Check out the list of businesses rolling out specials and savings.


The diner chain is offering $4 all-you-can-eat "moon cakes" on Monday, an eclipse-worthy take on their classic pancakes.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

The doughnut shop announced on their site that they will "eclipse" their original glazed doughnuts by covering the traditional treat in "a mouth-watering chocolate glaze." Customers can try the limited-time doughnut from Aug. 19-21.

Dairy Queen

The fast-food chain will feature a buy-one, get-one-free Blizzard deal, so two of the desserts will cost customers a cool 99 cents until Sunday, Sept. 3.

"We love any excuse to celebrate with our fans," Maria Hokanson, American Dairy Queen Corporation's executive vice president of marketing, said in a statement. "What better way to watch the eclipse or enjoy the last lazy days of summer than with a Blizzard BOGO?"


The brand has a celestial body in its name, so the company is giving customers 15 percent off all online orders through Aug. 21.

#SolarEclipse2017 is almost here - don't be hungry in the dark.

Now through August 21st get 15% off ALL ORDERS at!

— MoonPie (@MoonPie) August 7, 2017

Southwest Airlines

The airline is running five "celestial chaser" flights, which will pass through the path of totality. Passengers will receive commemorative swag, cosmic cocktails and special viewing glasses to safely view the celestial event in-flight.

One month from today, join us for a Total Eclipse from the #SouthwestHeart. BOOK NOW:

— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) July 21, 2017

Sprinkles cupcakes

Dark skies equal deep, dark chocolate confections for Sprinkles. The company will be selling special "black velvet" cupcakes made with Dutch black cocoa and topped with whipped chocolate ganache from Aug. 19-21 in honor of the solar eclipse. Some locations, including Chicago, will be giving the first 50 cupcakes away for free, but the company told ABC News they will announce information about other specials on their social media channels. The limited-time flavor will be sold while supplies last and are available for order online.

Let the countdown to darkness begin! T-minus 4 days! Total Eclipse #BlackVelvet now available for pre-order at

— Sprinkles Cupcakes (@sprinkles) August 15, 2017

Nature Sweet Tomatoes

Who says veggies aren't out of this world? Produce purveyor Nature Sweet, which sells dark-colored "eclipses tomatoes," is doing a telescope giveaway in honor of the solar eclipse. Friday is the final day to enter, and a winner will be announced at the end of the day.

Salt and Straw

The West Coast creamery is offering an eclipse ice cream cone that boasts "otherworldly" flavors for foodies. It's a black charcoal waffle cone with edible gold and filled with marshmallow fluff and yellow ginger-spiced tumeric soft-serve ice cream. The entire thing is topped with a Pop Rocks and black sesame magic shell and is available to customers at their flagship shop in Portland, Oregon, until Monday.


The online retailer is offering 20 percent off all eclipse-themed merchandise.

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Inspired By A True Story Photography(NEW YORK) -- One Target-loving mom decided to return to the store to celebrate her third child.

Page Miller, a professional photographer, told ABC News she lives approximately four minutes away from her local target in St. Louis, Missouri.

"Really, to get anywhere in my town, you have to pass it," she added. "It's where we go for everything."

So when her friend and fellow photographer, Heather Pippin of Inspired By A True Story Photography, came up with the idea to turn a routine trip to her favorite box store into her maternity shoot, the mother of three couldn't resist.

It was especially important for Miller, 24, to celebrate the upcoming birth of her third child, who will become a little brother or sister to her 2-year-old daughter, Avery.

Miller's last child with longtime partner Brad Fincher passed away last year from sudden infant death syndrome.

So the two photographers trekked to Target late last month, running through the aisles and posing with not only food, but clothing found in the store.

Pippin, who's been doing professional photography since 2011, said they two got a few "funny looks [from] few people, like, 'OMG, are they really doing that?' But [mostly] everyone thought it was funny and entertaining."

Miller's favorite part of the one-hour photo shoot was sitting on the floor, eating a canister of cheese puffs. "Avery is obsessed with them," the mother added of her eldest child.

The expectant mother also held up two onesies -- one seemingly for a boy and another for a girl -- to signify that the family doesn't plan to find out the sex of their child until their baby is born later this month. They're expecting his or her arrival on Aug. 25.

"We'll be happy either way," Miller said. "Either one is fine."

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The Jamestown man who admitted to killing his wife and step-son in early December of 2015 has been sentenced to 20 years in state prison on two counts of first-degree manslaughter.   ...

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