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Jackpot could top $150 million

May 01, 2000|By LAURA ERNDE

Bud Fauld buys scratch-off lottery tickets, but he has no interest in winning the Big Game's $150 million lottery prize.

"What would a person do with that much money, anyhow," said Fauld, 68, of Hagerstown.

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But you can bet hundreds, if not thousands, of other area residents will plunk down $1 per ticket for a shot at tonight's $150 million Big Game Jackpot.

Long lines begin to form any time the jackpot gets over $100 million, area lottery agents said.

"People get excited. They all think they're going to win," said Tom Potts, manager of C&R Liquors in Hagerstown.

The odds of matching all five numbers and the "Big Money Ball" are one in 76,275,360, according to the Maryland Lottery.

The winner will get $150 million in annual installments of $6 million, before taxes. Or, a lump sum of about $76 million, said Maryland Lottery spokeswoman Gail Pelovitz.

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The jackpot could surpass $150 million, depending on how many tickets are sold,

"It was $140 million when I came to work this morning," she said.

Big Game jackpots are almost becoming a springtime ritual.

Last April, the jackpot rose to $197 million, but the winner was from Massachusetts, Pelovitz said. Big Game tickets are sold in seven states, including Virginia, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan and New Jersey.

The largest Big Game jackpot ever won by a Maryland resident was $60 million last May, she said.

Harvey Sprecher, 43, of Keedysville, frequently plays the Big Game at Central City Liquors in Hagerstown.

"Even if I don't win, I don't feel bad. Whatever I lose goes to a good cause," he said.

Kris Jordan, 34, of Hagerstown said she's been playing various lottery games for 15 years without winning anything substantial.

She said she'll be surprised if her numbers, chosen at random by the lottery machine, hit this time.

"I'd probably faint, or die," she said.

The numbers will be chosen shortly after 11 p.m. and televised on Baltimore-area stations.

"They're all winners - until the drawing," said Gary Doub of Hagerstown.

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