Locals form long lines for lottery tickets; jackpot tops $600 million

lgierer@ledger-enquirer.comDecember 17, 2013 

A house would be the first thing Ann Lipscomb of Opelika, Ala., would buy if she were to win the $636 million jackpot Tuesday in the Georgia Lottery’s Mega Millions drawing. Lipscomb’s home burned to the ground in April.

“We lost everything,” she said. “It makes life hard.”

According to Lipscomb, the cause of the fire was electrical.

Also on the agenda for using the cash would be education for her children. A daughter is already a sophomore in college, a son is a senior in high school.

There were long lines at Columbus convenience stores Tuesday as the jackpot grew hourly. Lipscomb stood in one to purchase tickets.

It was a doctor’s appointment, however, not the lottery, that brought her to the city.

“I’m buying for five friends,” she said. “They knew I was coming here. I don’t usually play the lottery but I figured I might as well buy one chance for myself.”

As for the numbers she hopes will be lucky, “I’m using my children’s birthdays,” she said.

Calvin Riley has been a plumber for 45 years. He owns Valley Plumbing in Phenix City.

He said he rarely plays the lottery but the “really big money” brought him out to buy a couple of chances.

“If I were to win I don’t think I would change my lifestyle very much,” Riley said, as he filled out a card.

“I would like to be able to help people, give to the needy, but I would want to make sure that they were people who really needed help.”

He said he doesn’t expect to become rich this week. “I have never won much,” he said, smiling. “It’s nice to think about.”

Casey Horan, a Walmart worker in Phenix City, is another who is not a regular player. He said when the prize hit $300 million, he got interested.

“If you don’t play, you can’t win,” he said.

Still, he was not going to go wild purchasing tickets.

“I may spend five bucks, not a lot,” he said.

What will he spend his winnings on if he is lucky?

“I would like to buy some land,” he said. “Build my own little corner of the world.”

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