In one hour this morning Lucky Lotto took in about 500 dollars selling Mega Millions Lottery tickets. Luck is not just part of the store’s name. It was here in 2010 Mary Shammas won 64 million. And just last Tuesday someone else won 250,000 dollars on a ticket bought at the store. A new customer comes in every minute.
SOUND: Several people talking: “Second prize would be good, right?”Third price! 10,000 will be good.” “3, 19, 20, 32, 43.” “This is for today, right?” “2, 22, 25, 54, 56, 30.” “306. Combo. For tonight, the evening.”
Jagdish Patel works at the store.
PATEL: “Now everybody feel like here is the lucky store, so, that’s why people come in.”
The customers in Lucky Lotto this morning think the big wins are a sign. Tony Maruna spent 200 dollars buying tickets at different stores.
TISHEVA: “Do you know that this store has won a few times before?”
MARUNA: “Yes, I do, that’s why I just came in and bought 40 dollars worth.”
Not everyone is that big of a spender. The average price people paid was between 10 and 15 dollars.
SOUND: Getting money back, cash register closing.
PARK: “5? Oh, I need another 5. Just give me 5 Quick pick. 10 dollars.”
Mary Park already made plans how to use the money. Even if she wins, as she put it, “just 100,000.” She’ll buy a house first.
Leslie Bright and her mother Cheryl plan to go to Paris. She doesn’t play Quick pick where a machine automatically selects the numbers. Bright says they have a system to pick them.
BRIGHT: “We had some personal numbers and then we had some quick picks. But mostly I did a combination of my birthday and my mom’s birthday. I’m being very superstitious.”
To win the 640 million dollars you have to correctly guess all six wining numbers in one drawing. The odds of this happening are 1 in 176 million. Char Turigiano doesn’t care.
TURIGIANO: “Two dollars Quick Picks for Mega Millions tonight. I don’t know how lucky I’m feeling but I did my taxes so I’m happy.”
There are other winning options as well. You can win 150 dollars by guessing a combination of 3 or 4 numbers from 1 to 56 and the Megaball – a number from 1 to 46. Steven Vislocky bought 20 dollars worth of tickets today. He says he’s happy just to win.
VISLOCKY: “I’m not greedy I’d be happy with anything. Give some to the kids and payoff come bills.”
Vislocky says he’ll save some for his four kids’ education. If he wins, he said he will send them to Princeton University. 640 million will pay the tuition for Vislocky’s kids and for about 500 of their closest friends.
And now the bad news. If the winner happens to live in New York, he or she will have to pay 25 percent federal tax and nearly 9 percent state tax.
The drawing is tonight at 11. You have until 10:45 to buy a ticket. Hristina Tisheva, Columbia Radio News.