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Rivertowns Daily Voice serves Dobbs Ferry, Hastings & Irvington

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Dobbs Ferry Locals Hoping to Hit the Jackpot

DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. – With the Mega Millions jackpot now at an estimated $500 million, local residents have been filing in and out of participating stores before Friday night’s drawing.

“They’re coming in for the lotto. They’re not even saying anything else, just. 'Five on Mega Millions,' '10 on Mega Millions,' ” said Tom Rezza, a manager at Nonna’s Parkside Deli in Dobbs Ferry.

Mike Nasti, who owns Nonna’s Parkside Deli, said he has been surprised by not just the amount of people coming in for lottery tickets, but by who is buying them.

“People who don’t even play have been coming in, grandmas and grandpas,” he said.

With each ticket priced at only $1, Rezza said he has seen plenty of people from other towns stopping by to improve their odds.

“One dollar isn’t going to kill you,” he said. “People are just going around to every store. You stop by 10 stores in a day and you spend 10 bucks.”

Friday’s Mega Millions jackpot will be a world record for the highest ever. The previous record jackpot was $390 million, won on March 6, 2007. The game started in 1996, and now 42 states plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands participate.

It’s hard to comprehend what to do with all that money, but some people said they would make sure to give some back.

“Half of the money I’d give to research for cancer,” Ari Mato said after he bought a few tickets in Hastings. “What’s the point of all that money if it’s not going to help anyone?”

If you do strike it big, you have two options to collect the winnings. You can take a lump-sum payment of about $359.4 million, or you can stretch the winnings out over 26 annual payments of about $19.2 million.

The Mega Millions drawing will be held Friday at 11 p.m., with five balls drawn from a set of balls numbered one to 56. The final ball is then drawn from a set numbered one through 46. With the odds at about 1 in 176 million, many people have decided to team up with friends and co-workers.

"I noticed it since last week. We get a lot more singles," said Citlali Cruz, who works at Hastings Stationery. "More people are chipping in at their work.”

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