Mega Millions draws mega crowds - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Mega Millions draws mega crowds

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November 08, 2005

Beachton, Georgia-- On their lunch break, or even if they don't really have time to take a break, big dreams have people hoping to catch a break with Mega Millions.

Tallahassee resident, Irvin Johnson, is hoping to strike it rich in South Georgia. "I come up here every weekend when it's big money. But I only do it when it's big money," he says.

Johnson, and hundreds of other Floridians are flocking to Beachton for the Mega Millions drawing on Tuesday. "This store here is actually the closest to Florida. It's like five, ten minutes away," says Hud's clerk, Juleah Evans.

Hours is what Evans will be spending behind the lotto register. Florida isn't one of the 12 states that participate in Mega Millions. "It gets so busy, in fact, you stand in this corner almost two and three hours at one time," says Evans.

The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are one in 175,711,536. "The one hundred million spectacular, before it went out, we had a winner on that for a thousand dollars," says Evans.

That's pocket change compared to today's $225,000,000 jackpot. And of course, everyone's got big dreams for it. "Pay off my mortgage," says one Floridian. "Follow NASCAR, maybe sponsor a team," adds another. "Help my family and take a long vacation," says yet another Floridian. "I'm going to buy me a new home and a new car, and a new wife," laughs Johnson. Those are high hopes for a jackpot that's been growing since September 17th.

The idea for Mega Millions was born out of a record $363,000,000 jackpot from another multi-state game in 2000. That record still stands as the largest jackpot ever won in North America.

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