LOS ANGELES — Californians lined up at liquor stores and supermarkets Wednesday in a last-minute rush to buy tickets for a $136 million SuperLotto jackpot.
“The first thing I would do is rent a limo to drive me up to Sacramento to claim my prize,” said Derrick Bean, 36, of Los Angeles. “I wouldn’t want to fly. I would want to take my time and drink champagne the whole way.”
Californians developed Lotto fever after no ticket matched all six numbers in Saturday’s $88 million drawing, making Wednesday’s Lotto the second-largest in state history. The biggest, $141 million, was won last year by Al Castellano of San Jose.
When Wednesday’s winning numbers were drawn at 8 p.m., many stopped what they were doing to watch on television. The numbers were one, four, 19, 28 and 46 and the “mega number,” which was also four. To win the jackpot, a person must hold all six.
Unless the winner comes forward, it won’t be known until Thursday if any tickets sold contained all six numbers.
In Hawthorne, hundreds lined up at Bluebird Liquor, which is listed as one of the state’s luckiest retailers on the California Lottery’s Web site. The store has sold three winning tickets for jackpots in the past decade, ranging from $1.2 million to $16 million.
Lucretia Payne of Los Angeles has purchased Lotto tickets at several locations statewide, but always comes to Bluebird when the jackpot is big. “It’s like going to Vegas and going to the hottest machine,” she said. “Your odds are better.”
How much of the jackpot a winner would actually take home would depend on whether the ticket holder — or holders — chose the cash option or 26 annual payments at the time of purchase.
The cash option would result in a lump sum payment of about $67.5 million — or $49 million after taxes. The 26 annual payments would start at about $3.3 million and grow to $6.8 million, before taxes.
At Bluebird, some customers rub two bluebirds perched on a cigarette display near the Lotto machines for luck.
As dozens packed into the small store, owner Frank Kumamoto joked, “We do sell whiskey, too.”
People spent close to 90 minutes waiting to get into the store Wednesday afternoon. Many talked about how they would spend the money if they won.
Emily Baltazar, 26, and Katherine Lopez, 26, both of Pasadena, mapped out what they would do if they won millions.
“I would retire,” said Baltazar. “That sure sounds nice.”
Lopez said she would buy a house and help out her parents.
David Campion, 39, of Lakewood attended Ash Wednesday Mass before stopping by Bluebird Liquor and said a little prayer for Lotto luck. “Whoever wins, hopefully they need it and they will help others. Hopefully, it’ll be me.”
At the Cutting Board Deli in downtown Los Angeles, owner Anne Wu said she had sold more than 4,500 tickets for Wednesday’s drawing, compared to about 1,200 for a normal jackpot.
On the Net:
California Lottery: http://www.calottery.com