Visions of sugarplums - and sweet greenbacks - were dancing through the heads of New York lottery players on Christmas as they rushed to buy tickets for tonight's $125 million Mega Millions jackpot.
"When I see a big pot I definitely jump in," said Michael Santos, 32, one of countless lottery players who hope Christmas comes one day late this year.
"I don't think I'll win, but it sounds nice," he said as he scooped up 10 tickets at a Westbury, L.I., bodega.
No one had all six numbers in Tuesday's $100 million drawing, and that ratcheted up the interest for tonight's jackpot in the Mega Millions lottery.
"I'm hoping to win about a million. That's enough for me," said Jose Santiago, 30, a security guard from Brooklyn. "I'll get a new house for my mom. I'd get a Mercedes-Benz. Also, I would like to get a day-care center and run it."
The ticket-buying frenzy was less hectic because of Christmas, said Lou Citro, the owner of C&J Gifts in Mineola, L.I. - but he did sell 3,000 tickets between Monday and yesterday.
"When it gets really big like this, you can be surprised how crazy people can get," Citro said. "I've had people come in and drop $1,000 on tickets . . . It's nothing for people to walk in and drop 40 or 50 bucks at a time."
Tonight's jackpot looks paltry compared to the multi-state Powerball drawing tomorrow - now up to an estimated $170 million.