Long lines as jackpot hits 155M
A lunch hour spent standing in line is a small price to pay for a shot at $155 million.
Holding tight to hopes of whirlwind vacations and early retirement, New Yorkers waited as long as it took yesterday for Mega Millions lottery tickets.
"It gives you one great night of sleep dreaming about winning," said Adam Berman, 37, a lawyer who lives on the upper West Side. "That's worth a dollar."
Yesterday's rush for tickets in the 11 states that play Mega Millions hiked the jackpot for tonight's drawing by an additional $5 million.
The hopefuls lined up at Carlton Cards in Penn Station during lunch hour clapped as a shopkeeper put up a sign announcing the higher jackpot.
"There might be only a slim chance, but if you don't play, there's no chance," reasoned Ted Kirshenbaum, 34, a CPA from Astoria, Queens, who picked up seven tickets.
After playing the lottery every day for 10 years, John Bracy figures he's long overdue for a win.
"You know, when you keep putting into something, dventually something's gotta come back," said Bracy, 40, a porter from Astoria who left Song's Stationery in Morningside Heights with 20 tickets.
Others don't even attempt to reason.
"This is my husband's thing," insisted Marlaine Holliday, 46, of East New York, Brooklyn, who picked up 10 tickets from the Lotto Magazine store near Madison Square Garden. "He said, 'If you don't get them, don't come back.'"
Although the odds of winning are 1 in 135,145,920, some stubborn ticketholders refused to concede they were destined to lose.
"I'll see you when I come back to pick up my millions," Joyce O'Neill, 58, of Island Park, L.I., told the owner of a newsstand near Bryant Park.
For some, tickets were merely an impulse buy. A man picking up greeting cards at Trusha's Hallmark Shop in the Garment District casually asked clerk Marisol Estrada, 23, if anyone had won the Mega Millions yet.
"Nope," she told him. "It's waiting for you."