SAVANNAH - Wannabe multimillionaires - from lottery regulars to gigantic-jackpots-only players - snapped up tickets Friday for a long shot at $330 million in the multistate Mega Millions lottery.
The winning numbers drawn Friday night were 8, 18, 22, 40 and 44, with Mega Ball number 11. Disappointed players could still hope that no tickets were sold with all those numbers and that the jackpot would roll over again - to an estimated $425 million. Whether anyone hit the jackpot would not be known until several hours after the drawing.
Though still a small fortune shy of a record sum, the whopping payout up for grabs proved too tempting to ignore for folks such as Shawn Wallace, who said she rarely buys tickets.
'I'm not real good at the lottery, but the jackpot's so big,' Wallace, a 31-year-old computer technician who bought two $1 tickets at a Savannah convenience store. 'I happened to look up and see it on a sign and said, 'Oh, I have to play the lottery.'
The mega-jackpot was paying off for Savannah retailers near Georgia's border with South Carolina, which isn't among the 12 states where Mega Millions tickets are sold.
Peggy Davis, a manager at Brown's Chevron in downtown Savannah, said the store had sold more than $1,000 in Mega Millions tickets by noon Friday.
'That's about two or three times what we'd normally sell by that time of the day,' said Davis, who expected heavier sales once people left work. 'There will probably be a line in here at the end of the day.'
In Buffalo, N.Y., a Wilson Farms convenience story had a steady line of eight-to-10 people waiting to buy lottery tickets.
'It's been crazy.' said cashier Ashley Woloszyn. 'People are buying $100 worth at a time, for themselves, for offices. They're flying.'
Woloszyn, 19, said she'd probably keep working even if she won $330 million, prompting customer Jim Dole to chime in as he stepped up to buy $20 in tickets: 'You need to see a shrink.'
Though the odds of winning were nearly 1-in-176 million, the big prize had players dreaming - both large and small - of how they'd spend the money.