Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014
Lottery Fever Hits Southern Illinois
DESOTO -- The weather's not stopping people from getting out to pick up lottery tickets as Friday's Mega Millions jackpot tops $425 million.
Ticket-buyers are hoping this Friday the 13th will be their lucky day.
"It's Friday, It's just like Christmas," said Lonnie Sadler of Murphysboro. "Everybody likes Christmas."
Tickets have been flying out the door at the 4-Way Quik Stop in DeSoto.
"Hopefully I just quit work haha!" laughed one purchaser.
"This morning, just about every other person that came in bought lottery tickets," said clerk Vickie Crane.
Nobody has won the Mega Millions jackpot in more than two months, growing the top prize to its second-largest amount on record.
Crane has worked here for nearly 15 years and has sold countless tickets. "Whenever it gets big, you know, we ask 'em. Most of the time we don't even have to ask 'em," she insisted. "They just, they want it."
"Now I'm going to have to take one of them lottery tickets you're selling there," said one man.
"Give me five of that big money stuff," added another.
Sadler is a regular and says the most he's ever won is $2,000. He spends $5-10 on tickets every week, frequently in DeSoto.
"When I pass through, yeah. They're a lucky place," he said.
Four months ago, a DeSoto man won $750,000 on a ticket he bought at the Quik Stop. "In fact, he still comes in and plays about every day," added Crane.
And players like Sadler are crossing their fingers the gas station's luck hasn't run out. "I gotta buy her a car if I win," joked Sadler. "I'll buy a red one and a blue one."
"Can't win if you don't play," added another customer.
A winning ticket matching all six numbers would have the choice of a full jackpot in 30 annual payments, or a cash option or more than $200 million before taxes.
Wind: 14 MPH
Humidity: 46 %