Dreams of riches drive sales for $425 million U.S. lottery

Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:44pm EST
 
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(Reuters) - The U.S. Mega Millions jackpot has grown to an estimated $425 million, prompting a rush of ticket-buying by people betting their luck will hold when the game's second-largest drawing on record takes place on the night of Friday the 13th.

The lottery prize that may be snagged on what some consider an unlucky date will amount to $228 million if the winner chooses to take it in a lump sum rather than in 30 annual payments, according to the Mega Millions website www.megamillions.com.

Sam Tomanelli, 57, was buying a ticket at a corner grocery store on Manhattan's Upper West Side. The 57-year-old chef at Barnard College said he would share his winnings with friends, family and his church.

"You can't take it with you, you know?" he said.

Another ticket buyer, Pim Keo, had visions of a new home, investments and gifts to relatives.

"I have a lot of family," the 47-year-old restaurant cashier said. "Some of them pretend like they don't know me now, but they'd definitely know me after that."

On Manhattan's Upper East Side, Remigio Raicovich, 78, stood in line to buy a ticket for the game he has played twice a week, every week for the last five years.

"Who knows, maybe once I'll get it right," Raicovich said.

To win the jackpot, one ticket must match all six numbers in the drawing, which is slated for 11 p.m. EST (0400 GMT Saturday).   Continued...

 
A man shows his recently purchased Mega Millions lottery tickets at Bluebird Liquor in Hawthorne, California December 13, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn