Big jackpots spark lottery fever in Chicago

March 25, 2011 4:30:02 PM PDT
Two huge jackpots are at stake in Illinois lottery drawings over the next two days.

Those big payoffs have sparked a lot of lottery fever in the Chicago area.

The cash registers are ringing at Gateway Newsstands located at 2 N. Riverside. Buyers say it's a big deal. Gateway owners say lottery ticket sales are up because everyone is hoping to win and make their dreams come true.

"People are spending more money for more tickets," said Kieshore Thakkar, Gateway Newsstands.

"This is a such an escapist and entertainment game. It's a dollar to play Mega Millions tonight. The jackpot is our eighth highest ever at $312 million," said Jodie Winnett, Illinois Lottery.

Over at Betty's Newsstand at the Thompson Center, lottery sales are over the top.

"When you get these kind of high jackpots, you get these random players, not players that play on a regular basis, people are like, 'I have never done this before,'" said Casimer Cockrien.

ABC7 spoke with a woman at the BP station at Roosevelt and Wabash who says winning the lottery would help her family.

"Because my twin brother is real ill and my mother has breast cancer in Las Vegas. And I want to go home and help my family," said Regina Leslie, ticket buyer.

Some ticket buyers have plans for what they would do with the money.

"I would quit my job and I would probably move to Wisconsin," said William Packard.

"Retire, move to the islands. All of them," said Ron Barba.

"Put the kids through college. Buy a house and some cars," said another ticket buyer.

ABC7 will have the winning numbers for the $312 Mega Million game on the news at 10 p.m.