Mega Millions Jackpot

By: Stacy Berman
By: Stacy Berman

February 28, 2006

The Mega Millions Jackpot is up to an estimated $267 million, and with that amount at stake, people were out buying lottery tickets in droves today. ABC16's Stacy Berman stopped by one local gas station to see how "would be lottery winners" would spend their money if they won.

The usual lunchtime crowd seemed larger today; that could be because of the Mega Millions Jackpot. Up from $256 million this morning to $267 million, the lotto machine seemed quite busy.

"All day long we sell about anywhere between $5 and $20. Yesterday I sold $50 worth at one time to one customer, so it's pretty busy," said Beverley Staton, the Supervisor at the Shell Station on Preston Ave.

Person after person bought tickets. One man even purchased 130 tickets for him and his friends at work. While the chances of striking it rich are slim, this man already has plans for his money.

"I can tell you that myself and my 25 best friends at work would retire immediately so we might scuttle the company. I hope we don't do that. But yeah, that's what we would do. Retire on the spot," explained Rob Schneider, a lottery purchaser.

Others would spend their millions in the community.

Benjamin Barlow would do his part: "If I was to win the lottery tonight, I would put some of this money back into the community, say after school programs for the kids," he explained.

"I would fix the derailer on my bike and then I think I'll set up four foundations," said a considerate Craig Verzone.

Once someone wins, there is then the option of taking either the lump sum, or annual payout.

"I think the general consensus would be the lump sum. We would want the instant gratification, that instant millionaire feeling", Rob explained about him and his friends.

"I would take the lump sum; ain't no guarantee that I would live annually, so the lump sum would do for me," Benjamin said with a smile.

If you opt for the lump sum, your payout would be about $77 million with taxes taken out. Now if you choose to receive money annually, it would be about $2.9 million with taxes taken out for the next 26 years.

Of course if no winner is declared tonight, the amount would be increased and the next drawing would be held this Friday.

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