Convenience stores

People flock to convenience stores as Mega Millions tops $1 billion

Knoxville, Tenn. (WVLT) – The Mega Millions jackpot has surpassed $1 billion and people are hoping to win the near-record jackpot.

“So many things about the economy are getting so crazy right now that I’d be crazy not to try at least one,” said Trina Long who bought two tickets.

The Ebenezer Market in West Knoxville was where people stopped after work on Friday to try to win a billion dollars.

“What’s a point two billion? Get $611 million, that’s not a bad investment for six dollars, you know,” Miller said.

If Miller won his investment of six dollars, a gain of nearly $700 million would help him take a trip across the country and a lavish vacation abroad, before helping his family.

For others, it’s about fixing their church and paying off the debt.

Nick Patel is the owner of Ebenezer Market and has been working long hours for the past two days as anticipation for the drawing sent sales skyrocketing.

“I’ve been here since 7am, it’s been non-stop today, as well as yesterday,” Patel said. “7 a.m. to 11 p.m.”

Patel himself bought $200 worth of tickets, hoping to pay off his debt and help his family if he wins.

John Dean also stopped Friday afternoon. Dean said he always enters the game when the jackpot is really high.

He has skeptics on both sides. Dean’s younger brother is a professor of family financial planning and he says it’s a bad investment.

His wife said there was a better chance of being struck by lightning than winning the lottery, to which he has a quick response.

“My wife likes to tell me that I’m more likely to be struck by lightning, and I like to remind her that a lot of people get struck by lightning, so,” said Dean who bought $20 of tickets.

Although the odds of winning are over 300 million to one, there is hope that whatever billion dollars it is will be used to change the world.

“If it’s in the right hands, it can change other people’s lives,” Miller said. “So I think it will be worth it.”

Here are Friday’s winning numbers:

The Mega Ball number is 14.

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