HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Virginia Lottery officials expect to sell well over a million tickets each hour from now until tonight's drawing! A record $640 million is on the line. Lottery officials said there's a very good chance someone will win!
Mega Millions tickets or a tank of gas at nearly four dollars a gallon? Some budgeted for both while others didn't! Those are the ones who think they're holding the ticket for the historic prize!
Meet Mari Ahevonderae. She'd rather be known as Mega Millions Mari.
"That's the winning ticket right there," said Ahevonderae.
Moments before the jackpot grew by $100 million. Mari, sporting a golden money bag pendant, fed the express lotto machine $20. High gas prices are the least of her concerns.
"If I run out of gas, I'll be okay. I'll just wait till they pick the numbers and bring my winning ticket back to WaWa and be like, 'fill me up I got you when I get my money,'" said Ahevonderae.
Kevin Robinson filled up before spending what he had leftover on a record Mega Millions ticket. More than a half billion dollars is too tempting. While some are spending hundreds he only parted with a few bucks.
"That's a little too much to throw out with the price of gas and the price of food," said Robinson.
Some 12 hours before the drawing, the jackpot jumped by a $100 million and it's not expected to go higher unless someone doesn't win.
"We believe we have a 95% chance of someone winning," said Virginia Lottery Executive Director, Paula Otto.
At the Brook Road WaWa, the manager said she's seen a lot of new players. We thought we came across the only person who wasn't going to play at all!
"I just don't play the lottery. I never have," said Mike Shea.
But couldn't resist.
Tara Morgan: "I see cash in your hand now. A change of heart?"
Shea: "Yeah why not. I'm on TV. I just thought about it. It's only a dollar. Yeah it's worth the while," said Shea.
We watched as Mega Millions Mari helped others with a chance at living their dreams.
"Mega Millions right, yup."
Hers is to open a community center in Richmond.
"That's the trickery into letting you win so that if you say something good, your chances go up," said Ahevonderae.
Expect long lines wherever tickets are sold. If there is one winner and he or she decides to take the cash value option that person walks away with $462 million before taxes.