Frank Stone of Phenix City was sitting at a counter Thursday morning inside the Spectrum across from the Columbus Civic Center.
He had a cigarette tucked tightly between the middle and ring fingers of his right hand. He had a silver coin in the same hand. And he was scratching away at the silver film on the oversized lottery card.
Stone was playing the $100 Million Cash Spectacular, a new game offered by the Georgia Lottery Corp.
"It gets to you," Stone said. "It seems like you have more chances of winning."
Stone, who is retired, estimates he spends a couple of hundred dollars a week playing the lottery. He said he has had a $500 winner in the new game.
To get into the Cash Spectacular game, it costs $10 per card. That is a far cry from the normal $1 and $2 scratch-off tickets.
The game is attracting a lot of interest in Columbus and across the state. The players have a million-dollar dream.
The game, which will run for a limited time, will have 10 $1 million winners. There have already been four $1 million winners. Those tickets were sold in Statesboro, Resaca, Marietta and Pearson, said Tandi Reddick, a media relations specialist for the Georgia Lottery.
Barbara Jones, the manager of the Spectrum on Airport Thruway, said the game has been a hit.
"It is attracting a lot of new players," Jones said. "It's young and old."
There is also another common denominator.
"There are a lot of players I have never seen before," Jones said. "They are normally just gas customers."
The $100 million scratch-off game was introduced earlier this month. The Georgia Lottery says it has the highest payout percentage of any game in the corporation's history. It offers more than $118 million in total cash prizes. Through Wednesday, the game has generated $76 million in sales. There have been about $57 million in payouts, Reddick said.
In Columbus there has been one $50,000 winner and two $10,000 winners. There was also a $10,000 winner in Cataula.
West Point has done well. The small Troup County community has generated three $10,000 winners, including two at one Spectrum store located on 10th Street.
Because the game has a higher payout that includes $5, $10 and $20 winners, players tend to recycle the winnings into additional tickets.
The tickets have multiple numbers and can be confusing to some players. Each ticket has six winning numbers. There are 15 other numbers on the card. Winning tickets will match one or more of the winning numbers with the other numbers. Each of the other numbers has a prize attached to it,
"You really have to pay attention when you play it," Stone said.