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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Thousands lineup to buy lottery tickets for US$355mil jackpot

PHOENIX: Thousands of people lined up in 41 states and in Washington, D.C., ahead of the Mega Millions drawing on Tuesday in hopes of buying the winning ticket for the lottery game's US$355 million jackpot.
The prize is the fourth largest in U.S. history and the second largest in Mega Millions history, said Arizona Lottery spokeswoman Cindy Esquer. The lottery's prize of $390 million in March 2007 remains the richest on record in the U.S.
Hundreds of people poured into the tiny Arizona towns of Littlefield and Beaver Dam, crossing into the state from Nevada and Utah, where Mega Millions tickets are not sold.
At Rosie's Cafe on U.S. 93 north of Kingman near the Nevada line, hundreds drove in over the weekend to buy tickets for the Mega Millions game.
A line forms at the Fuel On Convenience store to buy Mega Million lottery tickets in Pittsburgh, Tuesday evening, Jan. 4, 2011. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
"The line was going out the door," with 500 or more in line at times on Saturday and Sunday, said waitress and cashier Christine Millim.
In the Mega Millions game, players try to win by matching five regular numbers plus the "Mega ball." Tickets cost $1.
The jackpot's cash option works out to about $224 million. Besides the jackpot, prizes range from $2 to $250,000.
The game expanded last year under a cross-selling agreement with the multi-state Powerball lottery to become available in 41 states and Washington, D.C.
The game's website was down momentarily Tuesday night, around the time that the winning numbers would be posted. Officials stripped the site down to a simple Web page with the logo and the jackpot amount, to help speed connections because of "unprecedented traffic."
Lottery ticket sales operator Laura Szafranski takes a Mega Millions lottery ticket from the printer for a customer in Pittsburgh, on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2011. The Mega Millions multi-state lottery jackpot prize was estimated at $350 million at the time of the ticket sale shown. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
The winning numbers were 4, 8, 15, 25, 47, with 42 being the Mega Ball number. - AP

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