But for the 10 people camped out at Checkout 17 in the Greencastle Wal-Mart, the wait is worth the payoff. Even if it will cost more than $600.
The new PlayStation 3 will be made available at 12:01 a.m. Friday, and Tony Anderson is first in line to get the new unit.
"My son has straight A's and this is what he wanted," Anderson said of his bid for the early Christmas present. Anderson's family was the first to get in line at 8 a.m. Wednesday.
"I just want to make him happy because he makes me happy," said Anderson's wife, who declined to be named for this article, about her 14-year-old son, who has also spent some time in line.
Local store officials allows the line to begin inside the store, rather than make customers wait outside in the cold, rainy weather. For that, the folks in line are thankful. At the Best Buy store in Avon, about 47 people were waiting outside the store huddled under umbrellas.
The PS3 is the top toy for this season's holiday shopping list nationwide. Indiana is reportedly getting only 800 units for sale, and 10 of those are reportedly destined for the Greencastle Wal-Mart. A sign posted in the store warns customers that not all 10 Sony PS3 60 gigabyte hardware units may arrive for the start of sales at 12:01 a.m. Friday. But rainchecks will be issued for up to 10 units. Since 10 customers are already in line, armed with blankets and chairs, no one else is being allowed to stay.
The Anderson's son said the big draw for the PS3 is that it has a broadband engine with is eight times faster than the average computer. And it has the best picture resolution.
While waiting in line, the Andersons have been playing cards, watching DVDs on a portable player, and ... balancing the checkbook.
"There's only so much you can do in the aisle," Mrs. Anderson said.
Farther back in line, Katrina Soriano of Heritage Lake is holding spots 7 and 8. She found out about the already forming line while she was in the shower Wednesday, and headed out of her house with wet hair to take her spot in line.
In line at spots 5 and 6 are sisters Traci Clemons of Broad Park and Sheila Morrison of New Maysville, and Traci's son and his friend, both from Indianapolis, are in spots 9 and 10.
While the customers can get out of line to go to the bathroom or get something to eat, they will lose their position if they get out of line.
It is worth the sleepless hours, they say.
"We're all die hards, and we watch each other's backs," Clemons said of the camaraderie that has formed in Checkout 17.
"People walking by think we're on strike or call us crazy," Morrison said.
"It's funny to see people walking by and then stop and back up and look again," Soriano said. Some young people even took photos of the group using their cell phones.
As for the hospitality of the store, Greencastle Wal-Mart management declined to comment, referring questions to their corporate headquarters.
As of 8 a.m. Thursday, the customers had only 16 hours more to wait for their prize purchases. Is it worth it? They think so. Merry Christmas.