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Mega Millions jackpot hits record high

 $500 million. That is the current Mega Millions national jackpot, as of Wednesday night, that has VSU students and faculty rushing off to buy tickets.

This record high is an increase from Tuesday night’s prize of $363 million, which had no winner.

Even those that don’t normally buy lottery tickets are taking the time out to buy one-dollar tickets with hopes that one of these tickets will wind up winning the lion’s share of the largest lottery jackpot in American’s history.

For instance, Daniel Garcia, a marketing junior, someone who rarely plays the lottery, expressed a desire to play after the huge numbers were announced.   “Yeah, I saw it the other day,” Garcia said. “I actually wanted to play it after that.”

 Eileen Lowers, a computer science and anthropology junior, who works in the Odum Library, also expressed a desire to play.   “My family plays, but I personally haven’t thought about it,” Lowers said. “I think I might have to buy some now.”

 Lindsey Wilson, a 21-year-old cashier at Blazing Brew, said, “I think I’ll have to go out and buy a ticket, especially if it’s that high.”

 Others in the community play a little more often.

 “Yes, I am aware of the $500 million [jackpot],” Mainnie Jenkins, a cashier in the University Center, said. “I play it every day.”

 Matthew Patel, a cashier at the Smitty’s gas station, reported an increased amount of lottery sales over the past few days. “People have come in to buy tickets a lot more frequently,” Patel said. “About three to four times as much as before.”

 Patel also expressed his own desire to play. “I’m going to buy two [of them] myself,” Patel said.

 This record-breaking jackpot has inspired hopes and ideas, and the idea of what one would do with this jackpot has made those here at VSU wonder.

 “If I won,” Lowers said, “I would pay off all my debts, finish college, go on a trip around the world and spread the rest throughout my family.”

 April Thomas, early childhood education major, said, “I would make sure my family is straight, and then start my own business. I would also invest some of that money into other businesses and save some to make sure I do not go broke or be in debt.”

 Garcia said, “I would give the money to my family and friends to enjoy it, and then I would probably just save it and then use it when I need to live off of it, and I would finish school.”

Zach Gravette, a special education freshman, said, “I would pay off tuition for the next eight years. I would buy a house, a car, buy my parents a house, a car, invest and that’s about it.”

Josh Cates, another special education freshman, said, “If I won it, I would probably buy my parents something, a house, and probably new cars, pay off school, buy me something and the rest I’ll save up.”

Another student was a little more ambitious.

 “I would spend it on a lot of unnecessary things and some useful things, like education (pay that off first) and then pay off my bills and make sure my life’s set straight, and then try to invest it so it can grow more and hopefully I won’t have to get a job,” Jerry Hinkle, a political science junior, said.

The drawing for the Mega Millions lottery will be held on Friday night at 11 p.m and the odds of a ticket winning are 1 in 176 million.

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