For South Florida Mega Millions Players, Dreams Range From Buying a House to a Rolls-Royce

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Running in just before closing time at a gas station in Miramar on Tuesday, folks lined up with dreams of waking up $636 million richer.

    "Buy a car and a house," said one woman in line.

    Customers Feeling Lucky Before Jackpot

    [MI] Hialeah Customers Feeling Lucky Before Mammoth Mega Millions Jackpot
    On Tuesday, in the run-up to the drawing for a Mega Millions jackpot estimated at $636 million, customers were lining up to buy tickets at La Preferida grocery store in Hialeah. People consider it to be a very lucky store because it’s sold a winning $12 million lottery ticket in the past. NBC 6’s Gilma Avalos reports. (Published Tuesday, Dec 17, 2013)

    There were practical would-be millionaires, as the drawing approached for a mammoth Mega Millions jackpot, the second-largest lottery prize in U.S. history.

    "What I would do with the money if I won is pay off school. So hopefully I win!" said Sheldon Guy.

    Mega Millions Hits Second Highest Jackpot Ever

    [AP] Mega Millions Hits Second Highest Jackpot Ever
    The Mega Millions' jackpot has reached the second highest amount in the game's history at $586 million. Ticket holders have a one in 259 million chance of winning, but can win up to a million dollars if they get 5 out of the 6 numbers correct. (Published Tuesday, Dec 17, 2013)

    A California lottery spokesman confirmed Tuesday night that one winning ticket was sold in San Jose, Calif., but a winner has not yet been identified.

    Back in South Florida, some people had slightly more indulgent dreams.

    "Buy a few cars: Lexus, Benz, Rolls-Royce," said Emmanuel Sotomayor, who added he would invest most of it.

    Some really invested in the gamble. One man at La Preferida, a local grocery store in Hialeah, withdrew $200 from a local ATM. All of it was playing money.

    But along with the dreams of that cold hard cash come some cold hard facts.

    Since October, the Mega Millions game has gone 21 consecutive drawings without anyone winning the jackpot.

    The rules of the game have recently changed, and there are new prize levels.

    "There are many subsidiary prizes and the odds of winning something are 1 in 15," said Tom Dolan, Florida Lotto district manager for Miami.

    But consider this. Before the new rules, you simply picked six numbers from 1 to 56 on those pink and white sheets. Now you choose six numbers from 1 to 76. It means the odds of taking it all home are 1 in 259 million.

    But at gas stations and grocery stores everywhere, the only number folks cared about was 1.

    "I do know you have to get at least 1 ticket to win," said one woman with a smile.