NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – The nation’s 10th largest prize in lottery history is up for grabs Friday, as the Mega Millions estimated jackpot climbs to $502 million.
The $502 million is the annuity option, where a sole winner is paid over 29 years. A winner opting for the cash prize would take home $301 million, minus state and federal taxes.
Peter Shah opened his convenience store in White Plains almost 30 years ago. Since then, he’s sold countless winning lotto tickets.
“It’s been a lucky store,” he told CBS2’s Steve Overmyer.
But he’s never sold a winner as big as Friday’s projected jackpot.
“We had winners here – not millions, but maybe a hundred thousand plus,” he said.
The chances of winning are 302.5 million to one.
“If I won the lotto, I would take care of a lot of people – my family mainly, then friends and whoever else I know that’s struggling,” John Babb said.
“The first thing I would probably do is just basically go home, relax, call a lawyer and call an adviser and see how I could use this money,” said Juan Martinez.
New York University student Brianna McIver said she isn’t an avid lotto player but had to get in on the action this time. She knew exactly what she’d do with the money, since becoming an occupational therapist isn’t easy or cheap.
“I would pay my graduate tuition. I would get a new car, and I would just save it,” she said.
No one has one the Mega Millions jackpot since January.
Mega Millions is played in 44 states plus Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)