Mega Millions jackpot in Maryland

Someone in Maryland is about to have a wildly euphoric weekend.
A winning ticket for the record-breaking 640 million dollars Mega Millions jackpot was sold in Baltimore County, the Maryland Lottery said Saturday.
Lottery officials are waiting for information on potential jackpot winners from other Mega Millions states.
The winning numbers in the Mega Millions lottery Friday night were 2, 4, 23, 38, 46 with a Mega Ball of 23.
California Lottery Commission spokesman Alex Traverso said 29 tickets sold in that state matched five of the six winning numbers. He said the payout will be about 125,000 dollars to 130,000 dollars.
The multistate jackpot caused long lines at convenience stores, with many dreaming of creative ways to quit their jobs if they get the lucky numbers.
Sales skyrocketed at Manhattan Tobacco, a New York convenience store – cashier Alex Shanahe said. He said the store has proved to be lucky before, having sold winning tickets of 3 million dollars and 5 million dollars.
“The sales have tripled. Everybody wants to win the Mega Millions” – Shanahe said before the drawing.

Mega Millions jackpot in Maryland
The Mega Millions jackpot.

Lotto fever reached a frenzied peak Friday, only to dash the dreams of California players as no ticket with all six Mega Millions numbers was sold in the state – a California Lottery spokesman said.
The numbers were 2, 4, 23, 38 and 46 with Mega number 23.
Early Saturday, the Baltimore Sun reported that one winning ticket had been sold in Baltimore County, Md. It was unknown if winning tickets were sold elsewhere. But 29 tickets sold here had five of the numbers and were expected to pay off in the high hundreds of thousands, said Russ Lopez, a spokesman for the California lottery, which monitors the lottery activity in the state.
Nine of the 29 tickets were sold in Los Angeles County — five in Los Angeles, and one each in Montebello, Long Beach, Hawthorne, and El Monte. A five-number ticket was also sold in Anaheim.
By the time officials in Atlanta called the six magic numbers at 8 p.m. PDT, the jackpot had risen to at least 640 million dollars. More than $200 million in tickets was sold in California on Friday, and Mega Millions officials reported at least 1.5 billion dollars sold nationwide.
For the past few weeks, the $1-a-ticket gambling game with its 1-in-176-million odds had captured the fancy of dreamers nationwide.
Lottery officials had estimated that there was a 95% chance someone would win the jackpot Friday. The Mega Millions sales and payoffs are monitored by each state’s lottery officials and some states are slow to announce their winners – Lopez said.
One man who has already lived through the drama of hitting the jackpot has some advice for anyone who suddenly comes into fabulous wealth.
Al Castellano, now 77, used to play just a dollar or two a month on the lottery. He could not afford more. But one Saturday in 2001, the recently retired grocery store clerk decided to splurge.
That day, he bought 14 tickets, hoping for a $141-million California Super Lotto Plus prize.
“The week before I had won $10, so I went to my lotto jockey and I said give me $10 and he couldn’t believe it” – said Castellano, who lives in Saratoga, near San Jose. “My wife thought I was crazy. Then I went back down and spent another $4.”

If those are the numbers on your Mega Millions lottery ticket, you’ve won a jackpot worth a world record 640 million dollars.
At least one ticket matched those numbers following Friday night’s drawing – purchased in Maryland’s Baltimore County, lottery officials said early Saturday.
Scores of wanna-be multimillionaires held their collective breath as the lottery numbers were drawn at 11 p.m. ET. Most exhaled as realism took hold – chances of winning were just 1 in 176 million.
With much of the nation gripped by Mega Millions fever this week, hopefuls inundated convenience stores, gas stations and other ticket outlets in 42 states, Washington, D.C., and the Virgin Islands, forking out nearly 1.5 billion dollars. The $1shot at mega-wealth had been the talk of TV, social media sites, office water coolers and dreamy high-rollers for the past week, electrifying ticket sales with a frenzy that amped up leading to Friday’s drawing.
The pot has grown nearly 300 million dollars since Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing failed to draw a top prize winner for the 18th consecutive time since January 27.
“It’s uncharted territory” – says Buddy Roogow, director of the Washington, D.C., lottery, which issued a commemorative “I Played The World’s Largest Jackpot” ticket this week. A typical Mega Millions drawing sells 250,000 tickets in the nation’s capital. Friday sales were expected to top 1 million.
Social media users were buzzing about the jackpot on Facebook and Twitter, mostly about what they would do with the money, but also about the minute possibility of winning the top prize.
“I’m reading an article about what to do after you hit the mega millions jackpot. Next article, how to housebreak your unicorn” – says @scottbhuff on Twitter. Some posters link to a poster that shows a man consoling a woman, and include this phrase: “Plenty of people don’t win the lottery the first few thousand times they play.”
Many in Indiana were further encouraged by the promise of freebies: Hoosier Lottery officials gave away one free Mega Millions ticket to each of the first 540 players at several outlets around the state Friday — a plan announced before the jackpot grew.
Thursday lines for tickets at Bluebird Liquor in Hawthorne, Calif., stretched a half block down Hawthorne Boulevard and around a side street for another half block. Some, such as Zulodius Morgan, waited in line for three hours to purchase tickets at the store, which has a reputation for being lucky for lottery players. Hawthorne resident Vianca Zaragoza bought tickets Wednesday with family members and was back purchasing 65 for a 10-person office pool at a local clothing company.
“Business is great” = says Bluebird owner James Kim, working furiously behind the counter with four employees.

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