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Lottery fever hits York as Mega Millions, Powerball jackpots top $2 billion

Rebecca Klar
York Dispatch
A sign displays the estimated Mega Millions jackpot at a convenience store in Chicago, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018. Friday's jackpot has soared to $1 billion, the second-largest prize in U. S. lottery history. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

In York, billionaire hopefuls were flocking to stores across the city Saturday, Oct. 20, in hopes of claiming a jackpot that's been growing since July. 

No one drew the lucky numbers for the $1 billion Mega Million jackpot on Friday, meaning the jackpot for Tuesday's drawing will be a record, eye-popping $1.6 billion.

Combined with the $470 million jackpot for the Saturday, Oct. 20, Powerball drawing, two lucky tickets could land someone more than $2 billion. 

Dee Mummert, a worker at Bob's West End News, said the store has been selling more tickets than usual. 

"A guy came in yesterday and bought almost 40 tickets at one shot," she said on Saturday.

Another person visiting from out of state came in just to buy tickets, Mummer said. 

Bob's West End News isn't shying away from advertising the high jackpots.

Store workers at Bob's West End News, on West Market Street, said more customers than usual have come in to buy lottery tickets as the Mega Millions jackpot rises to $1.6 billion. (Photo by Rebecca Klar)

A cardboard cutout Power Ranger is prominently displayed at the store's entrance, with the two jackpots listed and changing as they grow. 

The odds of someone winning the Mega Millions jackpot with the $2 ticket are slim — there's a one in 302.5 million chance of matching all six numbers and taking home the grand prize, according to The Associated Press. 

The low chances are one reason Rusl Bay, a worker at West Market Convenience Store, said he never plays the lottery and he's not making an exception now. 

"Statistics say in the end, the house wins," Bay said. 

The lottery skeptic added that typically, even people who do win end up losing in the end — either wasting money or becoming miserable. 

More:No Mega Millions winner, jackpot climbs to $1.6 billion

A cardboard Power Ranger displaying the Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots greets customers at West End Bob's News as they come in the store. (Photo by Rebecca Klar)

But other local store workers and owners are getting in on the action. 

Kamrun Nahar, the owner of Al Amin Halal Meat and Grocery, said she bought 22 tickets before Friday's drawing. 

Not a single number came up, she said. 

If she did win, Nahar said she'd use her winnings to visit family and friends in Bangladesh. 

However, Nahar said she'd be just as happy if a customer from her store won.

Mummert also said it would be great if the winning ticket was one she sold. 

A couple of years ago, a woman won $1 million on a scratch-off ticket bought at Bob's News, she said.

The store is due for another winner, Mummert added.

That's not to say she's keeping the chances solely on her customers.

"I already got mine," Mummert said.

She added that the store's workers are buying up the tickets that customers mess up when picking their own numbers — just in case those are some lucky mistakes.