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LOTTERY: $454 million Mega Million jackpot lures non-Lotto players (UPDATE)

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An electronic billboard displays the current Mega Millions jackpot Tuesday, July 5, 2016, in Springfield, Ill. With slightly better odds than Powerball, it’s rare that nearly four months passes without someone winning a Mega Millions jackpot, which has grown from $15 million prize to $454 million since the last winning drawing in March.

A customer shows his lotto tickets purchased at a grocery store, Friday, July 1, 2016, in Miami. Friday night’s Mega Millions drawing will give lottery players a shot at the 10th largest jackpot in U.S. history.

An estimated $454 million will be at stake in the Mega Millions drawing Tuesday, July 5, making it the third-largest Mega Million jackpot of all time and No. 7 on the highest prizes lists.

The large amount was enough to prompt Tabatha Flickinger, the assistant manager at a Shell gas station and convenience market at Blaine Street and Iowa Avenue, to think about buying a ticket.

“I really don’t play the lotto, but I might spend a dollar,” the 34-year-old woman said. “It only takes a dollar.”

The lifetime Riverside resident already has a good idea what she would do if luck were on her side, starting with paying off the family’s bills.

“I’ve thought about taking my family on a vacation, and maybe buying this darn gas station,” she said. “I’d make my money work for me.”

The last time the Mega Millions jackpot was hit was in Seattle on March 8, when Michael Burkett won $157 million.

The last Californian to win was Rick Knudsen, who in Aug. 22, 2014, collected $180 million from a ticket purchased in Calimesa.

As it turns out, the Inland area isn’t a stranger to record Lottery jackpots.

A Jan. 13 Powerball ticket sold at a 7-Eleven Chino Hills was one of three to hit a $1.5 billion jackpot. That winner hasn’t come forward, but has an additional six months to claim the prize.

The two other winners, in Tennessee and Florida, both opted to take a one-time payment of $327.8 million.

If anyone hits the jackpot Tuesday, Flickinger said, “I hope somebody local wins it.”

While no one’s walked away as a huge winner from the site where she works, someone did collect $10,000 on a Scratcher, she said.

But the lure of the enormous Mega Millions pot is generating more business, she said.

“I have some customers coming in every day now,” she said. “They buy in multiples of $5, at least.”

Over at the Arco AM-PM on University Avenue, clerk Lupe Teran, 26, of Riverside, said business had picked up “a whole lot. Mega Millions is popular right now, especially since it went up.”

She estimated a 60 percent increase in Mega Millions purchases.

“People are excited about it,” said Teran, adding that she herself is not a Mega Millions player.

“I play the Scratchers,” she said. “Those are more fun, to me.”

Fabian Michicoff was gassing up his car at a 76 station on Blaine Street when he learned about the jackpot.

“It’s pretty awesome,” he said, admitting he was tempted to slap down a dollar.

“I’ve bought a few tickets, but never got into it,” the 31-year-old Riverside resident said.

The Top 10 Mega Millions jackpots of all time, according to the California Lottery:

Top 10 Mega Millions Jackpots All Time

LOTTERY: $454 million Mega Million jackpot lures non-Lotto players (UPDATE) Share this: Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new

Washington man comes forward to claim $157 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot

SEATTLE — A Washington man came forward Thursday to claim the $157 million Mega Millions jackpot that had gone unclaimed since the drawing on March 8.

A lottery spokeswoman said the man’s name is Michael Burkett, but no other information about him was released.

“Burkett presented the ticket at Washington’s Lottery headquarters in Olympia, together with his family,” a news release said.

He purchased one $5 Mega Millions ticket at a Seattle-area 7-Eleven (9200 35th Ave, SW Seattle WA 98126) using Quick Pick, the release said. He chose the one-time cash payment option before taxes of $102.8 million.

“After the reality of winning settled in, the winner’s first purchase was an Alienware PC from Dell. The man, who is a fan of electric vehicles, also shared that he has his eye on a new red Tesla,” the news release said.

This is Washington’s fourth Mega Millions jackpot winner. In January 2011, an individual won a $380 million Mega Millions jackpot, splitting the prize with another winner in Idaho.

Washington man comes forward to claim $157 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot SEATTLE — A Washington man came forward Thursday to claim the $157 million Mega Millions jackpot that had gone ]]>