Mike Tweedy buys lottery tickets only if the stakes are “really high.” He said Friday’s $640 million Mega Millions jackpot definitely qualifies.
“That’s a lot of money,” he said. “It’s hard even to begin to think about all of that.”
Margie Jenifer buys lottery tickets frequently, and she said the 175 million-to-1 odds don’t bother her too much.
“It could happen,” she said. “It’s just really fun to play. I’d buy all the tickets if I could.”
Jenifer has won a few hundred dollars in past lottery games, and said if she won the jackpot she would give to her family and friends first.
“I would take a week to just think about it before I came out and told people,” she said. “That’s a whole lot of money.”
The line wasn’t long for Tweedy and Jenifer at Bodie’s Shell on 13th Street in Augusta on Friday afternoon. They talked about stories they have heard about the lottery making winners’ lives worse rather than better.
“It makes people crazy,” Jenifer said. “I think if I won, I wouldn’t change a thing about my life so I wouldn’t go crazy. I’m happy the way things are.”
Tweedy listened to Jenifer and laughed to himself.
“That doesn’t scare me,” he said. “I’ll take my chances with a lot of money.”
The previous record Mega Millions jackpot was $390 million in 2007, and was split between two ticketholders in Georgia and New Jersey. It will be early this morning before lottery officials verify whether there are any winning tickets, according to the Mega Millions Web site.
Americans were expected to spend $1.46 billion on tickets. Buyers lined up this week in 42 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The jackpot, if taken as a $462 million lump sum works out to about $347 million after federal tax withholding.
Associated Press and Reuters reports were used in this story.