Counting down to Friday night’s Mega Millions draw, Joe Chahayed said he felt like he was hosting a party every day.
Chahayed, 75, owns Joe’s Service Center in Altadena, where an unidentified winner bought a $2.04 billion Powerball ticket two months ago.
“I came in at 6 a.m. on Wednesday and there were people waiting in line,” Chahayed said, pointing to the island with the gas tanks outside. “We all went in and I asked is anyone getting married? It looked like a party. They said it was a mega wedding.”
Joe’s sold 7,500 Mega Millions tickets as of Jan. 11, he said, and he expects sales to surge on Friday the 13th when lottery officials said the jackpot would jump to $1.35 billion, or 707 $.9 million in cash is estimated. It would be the second largest jackpot in Mega Millions history.
Officials said the date turned out to be lucky: six previous Mega Millions jackpots were hit on Friday the 13th. Nobody won the jackpot on January 10th, but someone in Hacienda Heights bought a ticket that matched five of the lucky numbers. This ticket is worth more than $3.9 million.
The more recent Mega Millions jackpot win on October 14 was $502 million. The winners of this draw came from California and Florida.
Chahayed sends away all Mega Hopefuls with a lucky mantra. He upvoted it to “Winner Winner, Prime Rib Dinner,” he said, because chicken just doesn’t cut it anymore.
“People come here because it’s a lucky shop,” he said. “And there is good luck for everyone.”
Derrell Davis, 53, of Altadena, bought lottery tickets at Joe’s before winning the Powerball in November.
“I buy one each, Powerball, Mega and Super Lotto, weekly, sometimes every other day,” said the longtime resident. “I’ll keep buying because you have to be there to win it and I believe lightning can strike the same place twice.”
But while the prize ticket in Altadena two months ago sparked hope among Chahayed’s customers, wannabe instant millionaires are buying tickets across Southern California.
Denise Stoops, a 52-year-old La Habra resident, went to a 76 gas station on Pierce Street in Riverside for two things: water and a Mega Millions lottery ticket.
“I just ran for water, but I knew I was going to get a lottery ticket,” Stoops said.
So Stoops, who works in Riverside, headed home with five Mega Million tickets in hand.
What would she do if she won?
“I wouldn’t tell a lot of people and find a trustworthy accountant,” she said.
A few doors down, in the same mall as the gas station, Lawrence Hall, 55, owner of Much Love Barber Shop, said he regularly buys lottery tickets.
The Moreno Valley resident said he bought at least 10 tickets.
“I would take the job,” he said, referring to a possible win. “Gather my thoughts, a new phone number, discuss this with my fiancé, my brother and my father.”
“I would take care of the family first,” Hall said, adding that he would also give back to his church and the barbers who work at his shop — and “maybe” buy a new car.
Heading back to shore, Hawthorne’s Bluebird Liquor has sold tens of millions of winning tickets since the California State Lottery began nearly 40 years ago, owner James Kim said Thursday.
That attracts the long lines.
“They start early in the morning,” Bluebird owner James Kim said Thursday, where long lines have already formed.
“Friday is going to be very, very busy,” Kim said.
SCNG reporters Monserrat Solis and Michael Hixon contributed to this story.
https://www.ocregister.com/2023/01/12/after-selling-2-billion-lottery-ticket-lucky-altadena-store-sees-huge-demand-for-friday-mega-millions-drawing/ After selling $2 billion in lottery tickets, ‘lucky’ Altadena store sees huge demand for Friday’s Mega Millions draw – Orange County Register