- The Washington Times - Monday, April 15, 2002

Three members of the Ray family walked out of a 7-Eleven in New Carrollton yesterday with two tickets and high hopes for tomorrow's Big Game drawing.
Sandra Ray, her son Darnell Ray and his daughter Kieara dreamed of the opportunities $300 million would provide.
"I would give my son half and give money to my granddaughter so I would know she would always be taken care of a lot of money to my family," said Mrs. Ray, 49.
"What would I buy for myself? A beautiful mansion complete with a swimming pool, a brand new car, a Mercedes and BMW."
"How about a bodyguard?" Mr. Ray, 33, asked his mother.
"Definitely a bodyguard."
"A butler?"
"Of course, the house will come with butlers."
"A limousine?" asked Kieara, 10.
"I won't need one, but I will do a lot of traveling," Mrs. Ray told her granddaughter.
Friday night's Big Game drawing with a jackpot of $220 million failed to produce a winning ticket.
Tomorrow's jackpot is estimated to be $300 million.
The $300 million jackpot will be the second-largest in Big Game history, which is played in seven states, including Maryland and Virginia. The biggest and a U.S. record was $363 million, split by two winners in May 2000.
"When I win that's when I win first and foremost I will open a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, and then I'd get into real estate, give money to my family and finally put money in the bank," Mr. Ray said outside the 7-Eleven on Annapolis Road.
"I would go shopping and then would give money to my family," said Kieara, who is not old enough to buy her own ticket.
"How much would you give me?" asked her grandmother.
"Oh, at least $300," Kieara said. "I would buy a hotel and let my friends come over for a sleepover, and then I'd go to the movies."
"That's it?" Mrs. Ray said.
In addition to regular lottery customers, the huge jackpot has captured the fancy of others willing to spend a few dollars to make sure they have a chance even a 1 in 76 million chance at winning enough money to live their dream life.
Alexandria resident Tom Walter, 30, an MCI employee and part-time carpenter, is one such dreamer.
"I don't know why I don't buy them when it's $3 million $3 million would be just as good as $300 million for me. It's just that I feel like I have to buy a ticket now," he said.
Mr. Walter has put $5 into his office pool, which now has 100 tickets, and he has bought two additional tickets, one with numbers he chose and one with numbers picked by the computer, for the last two drawings.
"If I won I'd buy an RV right away and drive around the country," said Mr. Walter. "I'd give my family money to pay off all their debts and I'd put the rest in the bank and wait three weeks until I knew what I wanted to do with it."
The winning numbers drawn Friday night were 6, 13, 14, 17 and 41, and the Big Money Ball was 6. Forty-four players did manage to match five numbers, but not the Big Money Ball, to win $150,000 each.
Next month, the game will add New York and Ohio, making the odds even longer and changing the name to Mega Millions. Promotions for the new game have advertised potential jackpots as big as $500 million.


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