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Lottery lives up to its name

Mega Millions jackpot swells to $325 million

Mega Millions jackpot swells to $325 million

August 30, 2007|By HEATHER KEELS

WASHINGTON COUNTY - Tuesday's Mega Millions drawing came and went without a jackpot winner, bringing the multistate lottery's Friday jackpot to $325 million, its second-highest level ever.

The highest Mega Millions jackpot awarded was $390 million in March.

The news means liquor and convenience stores are expecting higher-than-average sales for the game to continue tonight and Friday as occasional lottery players remain caught up in the excitement, said Mudassir Bhutto, manager of Nadia Convenience Store on West Franklin Street.

The $325 million represents the jackpot's 26-year annuity value. There is also a cash option of $191.1 million.

Friday night's drawing will be the seventh Mega Millions pick in a row with a jackpot higher than $100 million. The total has crept higher since a player last picked the correct combination of five white ball numbers and one Mega Ball number July 6.

"I'm thrilled that it's kept going up," Maryland Lottery spokeswoman Carole Everett said.

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Mega Millions, which is played in 12 states including Maryland and Virginia, also awards smaller prizes for players who match some or all of the white ball numbers. The odds of winning any prize are about one in 40, but the odds of winning the jackpot are about one in 176 million.

That doesn't stop players like Eric Weedon from dreaming.

Weedon, 29, of Hagerstown, has seven children, and plays the lottery whenever he can afford it with the hope of winning the money to put them all through school. After work today, he plans to buy Mega Millions tickets from several different stores.

"You never know where the luck is," he said.

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