Lotto fever draws crowds; 2 winners sold in Atlanta, Calif.

Asia Ashley Staff Writer

December 18, 2013

With the Mega Millions Jackpot over $600 million, lottery ticket buyers were flocking to gas stations Tuesday for a chance at winning the second largest jackpot in the game’s history.

“It’s been crazy,” said an employee at the Summit gas station on S. Greenwood Street about recent lottery ticket sales.

The Mega Millions jackpot for the Tuesday, December 17, 2013 drawing was $646 Million.

Two lucky winning tickets were sold in Tuesday’s drawing: one at a tiny newsstand in Atlanta, and the other more than 2,000 miles away in California.

The lucky Georgia ticket was sold at a Gateway Newsstand in Atlanta’s affluent Buckhead area, Mega Millions Executive Director Paula Otto said.

West Point gas stations were more chaotic Tuesday afternoon as many Alabama residents traveled to take part in the jackpot.

Opelika, Ala. resident Eddie Rushing stood in one of three lines at the Shell on Ga. 18 in West Point awaiting to buy his ticket.

“I would buy an island and live on it,” said Rushing of what he would do with the millions if he had won.

Valley, Alabama’s Tanya Coker stood in another line at the store for her ticket.

“If I won, I would take care of my mom who is in her last stage of Alzheimer’s,” said Tanya Coker. “I’m gonna build a place so I can keep her at home.”

Taking care of family with the millions is also a goal of ticket buyer Carl Williams.

“I would set my family straight first,” said Williams. “I’ll give my parents at least $100 million.”

Pary Patel, clerk at BP on Lukken Industrial, said ticket sales at the store this week had been booming.

Patel found that over 800 tickets had been sold at the location on Tuesday morning, with that number expected to double by the 11p.m. drawing.

“In the evening lots of people come in,” said Patel. “Right before the drawing people come in and most have been buying more than one ticket.”

As a result of high ticket sales, Georgia Lottery officials had announced Tuesday that the estimated Mega Millions jackpot for tonight’s drawing had been raised from $586 million on Monday to $636 million .

The jackpot began rolling Oct. 4 and has rolled 21 times; The largest Mega Millions Jackpot to date was March 30, 2012 for $656 million with three winners.