PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The largest jackpot in history, estimated at nearly $640 million dollars, has Mainers lining up to buy a chance to win MegaMillions.
"If i'm going to go, I'm going to go big," exclaimed Fred Haynes as he stopped into Joe's Smoke Shop to pick-up his tickets for Friday night's drawing. "It's enough money for me, so I figured I should step-up to the plate."
Like many Mainers, Haynes doesn't normally play the multi-state MegaMillions game, which has been offered in Maine only since May of 2010, but with a record jackpot of more than half a billion dollars he couldn't resist taking a chance.
"I would take a sabbatical,' Haynes joked when asked what he'd do with the money. "I would go in the woods for forty days and forty nights and then I would emerge and give it all to the homeless."
Bus driver Armand Dorazio left the store with a handful of tickets, seventy in all, that he'd purchased after pooling together the resources of thirteen of his fellow drivers.
"This morning we were talking at work and we figured if nobody won it today, we would do a pool on Monday," said Dorazio. "I was like, 'there is time to do it today, let's hop on the bandwagon tonight.'"
He says they'd all be able to manage 'pretty good' after splitting the jackpot 14 ways and giving a substantial cut to the government in taxes, but he wasn't exactly sure how he'd spend his windfall.
"Haven't even thought about it yet," he admitted. "Just got the tickets and just hoping and praying - and once I regain consciousness from passing out - my kids, my family will be taken care of, and close friends."
Stores in Maine will be selling plenty of tickets, with odds of one in 176 million of picking the winning numbers, until the 9:50 deadline before the big drawing Friday night.