$290 Million Jackpot Has Locals Buying Lotto Tickets - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

$290 Million Jackpot Has Locals Buying Lotto Tickets

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Adam Rasmussen
Channel 2 News

Thousands of people across 42 states were all looking to get rich Friday night.

The Mega Millions jackpot grew to $290 million, meaning people are loading up on tickets hoping to come away big winners. With so much money on the line, Gold Ranch Casino saw hundreds of people from Nevada and California buying their share of $1 lottery tickets. Every single person we ran into said they had the winning numbers in their hand.

"Every time I go to California on business, I'm hoping I don't have to return," says Rikki Sauer, who lives in Reno. "So, I always buy lotto tickets."

Gold Ranch Casino tells us that line stayed pretty consistent throughout the day. People on their way home from work figured they might as well kick off the weekend by becoming instant millionaires.

"When the jackpot gets up to these kind of numbers, our sales can double or triple," says Gold Ranch Casino General Manager Tom Macintosh.

Most will come away with nothing, but one woman says her chances are good. That's because she's been lucky in the past.

"We won a few small amounts, but back in I think 1996, we won over $200,000," says Midge Fleming. 

And Fleming is back for more. She agrees luck has been on her side, but has a little advice for people looking to win some big-time money.

"I play the same numbers. I hardly ever deviate."

If she wins, Fleming said she would donate most of the money to the SPCA. Others though, have different plans in mind.

"We'd be living in Cabo-San Lucas," says Al Hummel. "That's our plan anyway."

"Probably a new car, a bigger house," says Sauer. 

"I'd probably buy a house or build a house, and cars for the whole family," says Nolan Smith. 

Lets face it, with thousands of people buying tickets across the country, chances are, everyone will come away empty-handed. But locals are staying optimistic.

"Everybody's playing, but somebody's gotta' win, might as well be me," says Smith. 

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