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You feeling lucky? Mega Millons jackpot at $270 million

Lotto ticket sales expected to jump

POSTED: March 4, 2008 5:00 a.m.

By midnight, anyone who bought a ticket might be a mega millionaire.

The Mega Millions jackpot has been rolling over since Jan. 4, snowballing tonight’s prize to $270 million.

Owners and employees at local convenience stores say they are seeing a rise in ticket sales since the jackpot became $270 million, but they know that most people will buy their tickets today.

Maya Patel, owner of the Texaco at Lakeshore, sat leisurely behind the counter of his usually busy convenience store on Dawsonville Highway on Thursday evening as the rain kept most people at home. Patel said he sold a lot of Mega Millions tickets on Thursday, but said the bulk of his sales will happen today.

Patel said he has witnessed people spend hundreds of dollars for a chance to be a millionaire.

"People go crazy over it," Patel said.

He expects nothing less today, when the prize is bigger than usual.

Ticket sales are higher when the prize is higher, said Akbar Dhannani, owner of J&S Food Store on Thompson Bridge Road.

"If the jackpot is small, we sell small," Dhannani said.

Dhannani said he sold $686 in Mega Millions tickets on Tuesday when the Mega Millions jackpot was $220 million.

Now that the prize is higher, Dhannani expects even more people to play today.

expects even more people to play today.

"Hopefully, (Friday), maybe I will sell $1,000-plus," Dhannani said.

Players can choose to get their money all at once with the "cash option" or they can get it in 26 annual installments in the "annuity" option, according to a news release from the Georgia Lottery Corp.

In the case of the $270 million jackpot, the annuity winner would receive about $10.3 million every year for 26 years plus any interest the money earns over the years.

With the cash option, winners get a lump sum of $164 million. Either way the government dips about 31 percent of the winnings out of the jackpot.



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