Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

State Line Lottery Lines Swell; Tonight's Mega Millions Drawing Will Be for a $220 Million Jackpot

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

State Line Lottery Lines Swell; Tonight's Mega Millions Drawing Will Be for a $220 Million Jackpot

Article excerpt

Byline: Gordon Jackson, The Times-Union

KINGSLAND -- Loretta Thompson believes her shoes might hold the winning combination of numbers to win tonight's $220 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot.

Thompson, of Jacksonville, said Monday she has 217 pairs of shoes and once used the number to win $500 in a daily lottery where three numbers are chosen.

But she needs six numbers to choose correctly to win the multi-state jackpot. So, she separated her shoes into different categories to pick her numbers. She's counted the number of brown, black and other colored shoes, as well as high heels and sandals, for what she hopes is the winning combination.

Although the odds are against anyone winning -- they're more than 135 million to 1 -- Thompson was among many people standing in line at Southeast Georgia businesses near the Florida state line with the same dream of becoming an instant millionaire.

Regina Cheung, a manager at the Cisco Travel Plaza off Interstate 95 near exit 1, said the lottery machine has been spitting out tickets steadily since the jackpot rolled over Friday night. But Monday's crowds were nothing compared with the ticket customers expected today.

"It's been crazy so far," she said. "We're bringing in extra help to move the lines as fast as possible."

The big jackpot also helps increase gasoline and food sales at the business, Cheung said.

Gino Puangco of Jacksonville said he made the special trip to Georgia, in part because he wanted to cash in a $7 winning ticket from an earlier jackpot that lottery officials said has rolled over since May 11.

If no winner is drawn, Puangco said he has no plans to return to buy another ticket for Friday's drawing.

"If it rolls over, this place will go crazy," he said.

Robin Daniels of Jacksonville, however, said she'll continue buying tickets for the big jackpot, regardless of the lines. …

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