WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- With millions of dollars up for grabs, many people are hoping that Santa and Lady Luck will visit them this Christmas. Both of the big pots in the North Carolina Education Lottery are filled to the brim this weekend, just in time for the Christmas holiday. A winning Powerball ticket could put $46 million in your bank account, while the Mega Millions is even higher with a $168 million jackpot.
Many people are hoping this Christmas will be their lucky day, but regulars are saying they don't understand why people only buy tickets when the jackpots are high. "I haven't really understood that," says lottery playing regular John Wrenn. "I've heard people say 'it's only a million dollars' and 'only' and 'a million' don't go together. If it's fifty thousand dollars, that's a lot of money for a dollar."
Brittany Farmer, a cashier at the Scotchman gas station on Pine Grove Road, says people are always into the lottery, holiday or not. "As many tickets as I sell, some people do it on a whim, some people do it consistently, it's like a system for them," says Farmer. "It's any every day thing. They really just wanna win. 'Can you tell me if I win so I can quit my day job?' I hear that like every other day, I really do."
Farmer says people buy more scratch off tickets during the holidays to use as stocking stuffers. Although players have to be at least 18-years-old to win, the money from the sales goes to education in North Carolina. Lottery regular Richard Porter says he wants to win, but ultimately, he plays the lottery to support the kids. "Money is money but it's all about the education for the kids," says Porter.
The Mega Millions jackpot will be picked Friday night and the Powerball soon after on Saturday. Hopefully someone in the Cape Fear will wake up with something extra under their tree.