Lottery dreams arise |

Lottery dreams arise

John HartAt the Golden Empire Market at the corner of South Auburn and Empire streets in Grass Valley, Jennifer Christensen of Grass Valley puts her own numbers down on a Super Lotto ticket.
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For $1 or hundreds more, western Nevada County residents bought themselves daydreams of easier lives, bigger houses and smoother-running cars Wednesday at liquor stores and corner markets.

“Chance to never work again? Why not?” asked John McBride at the Golden Empire Market in Grass Valley.

He was part of California’s last-minute rush to buy tickets for a $136 million SuperLotto jackpot.

Also in line, Jennifer Christensen spent $3 in hopes of winning a fortune.

“You know, the lavish life of the rich and famous,” she joked.

Mike Clemmons, a Grass Valley blues guitarist, spent $20 on tickets with hopes of parlaying it into musical instruments and lessons for the disadvantaged.

Ginger Covert of Grass Valley dropped $5. She’d pay off the house, bankroll her granddaughter’s college education, and maybe buy land for a county park.

Gene Ernst of Grass Valley spent $30 for himself and his wife. His plans?

“Can’t think of a thing. It would just be nice to have,” he said.

Store clerk Kelly Jackson said ticket sales were “just crazy. … We had to put on extra people.”

Groups of workers at various businesses were buying 200 tickets at a time.

At The Bottle Shop on Nevada City Highway, customers bought an average of 10 tickets, but one bought 400, owner Roger Lundberg said.

Eileen Rounds knew what she’d do if one of her 25 tickets hit pay dirt.

“My ultimate dream would be to buy a big motor home, open up my address book, and go visit everyone I know. That would take about three years,” the Grass Valley woman said. “That’s after I pay the bills, of course.”

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.

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 $67.5 million – or $49 million after taxes. The 26 annual payments would start at $3.3 million and grow to $6.8 million, before taxes.

– The Associated Press contributed to this story

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