Lottery players in 41 states are getting the chance to vie for the 2nd-largest Mega Millions jackpot of all time, and that has Alabama residents making trips across the state line to Georgia.
The Mega Millions jackpot began at $350 million this morning, and around lunch time it jumped to $355 million.
Through Columbia, and over the state line, you will find a Georgia convenience store packed with Alabama residents hoping to purchase a winning lottery ticket.
“I drove all the way to Georgia to play the Mega Millions,” says Dothan resident, Laura Norton.
“I just recently found out about Georgia because I just recently moved here from Los Angeles, California, and I been coming like every other week,” says Ozark resident, Robbie Crews.
Dothan resident, Martha Faulk says, “I come over here all the time to play numbers, but I really wanted to play the mega number today. “
Riverside Travel Center’s manager, Barry Patel, says that their business has nearly tripled over the weekend, and about 90 percent are from Alabama.
“We have the people lining up to buy the lottery tickets, and everybody coming from the Dothan, Headland, Ashford, coming across the state line,” says Patel.
The game is similar to Powerball- at one dollar per ticket players try to win the jackpot by matching 5 regular numbers plus the mega ball, but some will be happy with less.
“If I can win part of it, it will be a blessing,” says Crews.
Faulk says, “I hope so, I sure hope so. If I don't have the winning ticket, I hope I got about 3 or 4 numbers. It would help pay off something.”
“I hope I win. I'm not greedy. If two, three people win, I'm happy. More people win, there's more people that got money,” says Patel.
What if they win the whole thing?
“I can pay off my bills, get my mom out the nursing home, it will truly be a blessing,” says Crews.
Norton said, “I'd give a lot to charity, lots to churches, and lots to the poor people and the ones out of work. So maybe all that luck will shine down on me.”
“The first thing I would do is go to the church, and I said I always wanted to build a home for the homeless,” said Faulk.
They draw for the Mega Millions twice a week, Tuesday and Friday.
If nobody wins on Tuesday that would make Friday night’s estimated $480 million jackpot the largest jackpot prize in North American history.
The odds of winning this jackpot are approximately 1 in 176-million.