A thousand dollar grand prize forms dreams of wealth over the US the day before another Mega Millions jackpot drawing. The jackpot swelled to $ 1.6 billion on Monday, while the sister Powerball lottery grew to at least $ 620 million. (October 22)
SAN FRANCISCO – Large Lottery prizes bring out the dreams of ordinary people across the country, turning skeptics into players whose attitudes change from "Why bother?" To the "Why not?"
As the jackpot for Tuesday night, the Mega Millions Lottery has climbed $ 1.6 billion – the highest ever in the US lottery story – ticket sales have taken off, with extended lines reported over the weekend in Los Angeles, and nearly 33,000 tickets per minute are purchased at one time in Florida.
And despite the odds of winning 302 million to one or more more than a thousand times higher than the chance of being struck by lightning (one of 300,000).
Consider about three quarters of possible number combination ns will have been sold when the drawing is done at 11.00 EDT, a winner or group of winners will likely arrive this time and claim the standing question of what they would do with such sudden fortune.
In three different neighborhoods in San Francisco, where the median price of a family house increased to $ 1.6 million this year, a regular refrain was wanted to afford ten l a house in one of the country's most demanding markets.
"I would move out of my apartment with my two daughters and my boyfriend," said Sofia Millham, 40, who carried 4-month-old baby Phoebe like she and former co-worker Elizabeth Kerrisk bought Mega Millions tickets at a convenience store in Noe Valley district.
Both government workers also participate in office pooling of resources to get tickets but with the end of maternity leave in sight and the desire to stay At Phoebe's home, Millham wanted to improve his chances.  Further east of the mission, a traditional latino district that has been increasingly reproduced in recent years, Mik Gaspay also dreames of owning a home. The 42-year-old artist called that prospect "an impossibility for most."
It's therefore spending $ 5-10 on a handful of lottery tickets, which beat him as a way to indulge in a cheap imagination. If it ever became a reality, Gaspay said that he and his wife would achieve more than just securing new residential neighborhoods.
"We talked about opening a school," he said. "Obviously you could buy everything you wanted, but what would be a worthwhile thing? It would be great to create a homeless shelter, solutions, actually do things for the community. It seems that just buying things will be so boring. More: Powerball, Mega Million Jackpots: All You Need to Know
] On the opposite side of the country, the Mega Millions lottery – along with Wednesday's Powerball drawing, which at $ 620 million will rank as fifth largest jackpot ever In the United States – has held stores that work feberishly.
At a 7-Eleven, which opened July 27th in Cape Coral, Florida, Tiffany Cullen's shop manager took his breath on Monday afternoon after a purchase of customers bought lottery tickets for couples with sports drinks, candy bars and gas.  "The lottery gets all these people to come in, and then they get even more things," said Cullen. "From 7 to 8 we have 60 customers. From 5 to 6 pm, we have 70 to 80 customers in one hour. It's more than one customer per minute."
She was even caught up in the thrill and bought a ticket from their own store. In case she wins, the Cullen dreams big.
"I would buy my own island," she said.
In Chicago, Nathan Harrell took a lotto chance for the first time this year, spending $ 40 evenly between Mega Millions and Powerball tickets. Harrell, 36, is working in economics and said he does not think of the lottery before the jackpot is so high it makes the news.
His approach to landing such a stormfall would be conservative. Harrell said that he and his wife would probably continue to work and set up trust boxes for their two children.
"We did not want to sweat the little things anymore," he said. "Nothing wrong, but who knows."
The Mega Millions Lottery is played in 44 states, in addition to Washington, D.C. and the US Virgin Islands. Of course, the potential winners' plans for the big payout are as different as the country they live in.
While lifelong New Yorker Earl Howard said he would move out of town and take care of his family financially while keeping low profile, Quin Newsom, a gas dealer in Nashville, Tennessee, said he would "share it with my employees. We will retire from here, and then I should go to the Bahamas."
Remarkably, most of those responding to journalists' inquiries, expressed a strong desire to share the bonanza, and not only with its relatives.
"Other than paying for bills and caring for the family, I think I'd love to go around and do surprisingly good deeds for people," said Michelle Connaghan, 48, when she picked up pizza for her family and a Mega Millions ticket at a convenience store in Omaha, Nebraska. "And I'm sure we would take some pretty wonderful vacations as we walked around and made our surprises good deeds."
Contributing: David Dorsey, Fort Myers News-Press, The Associated Press
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