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SF residents dream big ahead of $ 1 billion Mega Millions lottery drawing

A line forms outside 19th Avenue Liquors in San Francisco on Friday as lottery ticket buyers wait for the owner…

Banners in the windows of 19th Avenue Liquors in San Francisco’s Inner Sunset boasted about its status as a lucky location and encouraged people to become the store’s third jackpot winner. On Friday morning, a crowd of people had gathered at 19th Avenue and Noriega Street, waiting for the owner to arrive and open the store.

Alex Tang, from San Jose, had been waiting since 9:30 a.m. He drove up to visit his daughter, a student at the University of San Francisco, and decided to stop and buy a Mega Millions ticket.

“I had a dream that I won,” Tang said.

At 8 p.m. Friday, lottery officials drew the winning numbers for the second highest jackpot in lottery history, but there were no Mega Millions jackpot winners in California.

Lottery officials were still waiting for results from other states Friday night. A single winner would take home $ 565 million if they chose the lump sum cash option.

If no one wins the jackpot Friday night, Tuesday’s jackpot will soar to $ 1.6 billion, officials said.

Someone did, however, purchase

Tang does not usually play the lottery, he said, and decided to spend $ 4 at most on tickets. “I’m not as bad as my wife. She’ll spend $ 60 to $ 80. “

John Jones had been waiting since 10 a.m., wearing his See’s Candies uniform. He had to be back at work at 1 p.m.

“I feel lucky today,” Jones said. “If I leave here, I feel like I’m going to miss something.”

Once the owner, Elias Shamieh , arrived around noon, Jones was second in line after Tang. At the register, Jones placed a crisp $ 100 bill on the counter and rattled off his choices: $ 20 on Mega Millions, $ 2 on Powerball, $ 1 on SuperLotto Plus, $ 5 for Fantasy 5 and $ 10 for Daily Derby. Jones walked out with 22 tickets in total.

Shamieh has owned 19th Avenue Liquors for 11 years and runs it by himself. He said the store has sold two jackpot tickets, which is why it was so busy Friday. The last big rush was January 2016, when the Powerball jackpot was $ 1.6 billion.

“That time, there was a 40-minute line out the door and up the block,” Shamieh said. “But it only gets like this when It’s more than $ 700 million. “

With no exact match to the numbers drawn Tuesday – a Safeway baker had five or six numbers, not including the mega, for a $ 1.9 million reward – the jackpot climbed to $ 1 billion Friday, attracting people who had never or rarely played the numbers game.

At Miraloma Market on Petaluma Drive, people filed in and headed straight to the cashier to buy a Mega Millions ticket.

Richard Correia had never played the Mega Millions category, and brought his friend to help.

“Where do I do it?” asked Correia. “What do I want? Powerball? “

He left with five Powerball and five Mega Millions tickets for $ 20. If he wins, he said, he will give the money to his two boys.

Those who regularly play were also shelling out extra money Friday. Peter Allrich came into Metaluma Market shortly after 10 a.m. to buy 10 tickets.

“I play the lotto every week but I never spend $ 20,” he said. “Usually, more like five to 10 bucks.”

Born and raised in San Francisco, Allrich said he ‘

The California Lottery classifies Miraloma Market as a “Lucky Retailer,” because it sold multiple winning tickets a week last year to pay out an average of $ 4,000 from lottery games, including scratch- off tickets.

Renata Lowers, of San Francisco, said she comes from North Beach to the Miraloma Park store to buy tickets because her stepdad played here and had won.

“I played earlier in this round, but I did not ‘t win, obviously, so I’m back, “Lowers said.

The most she’s ever won was $ 300 on a scratch off ticket, she said.

Colleen Tanaka works at a travel agency in the same plaza as Miraloma Market and walked over to buy tickets for her office pool. She and her coworkers had never played the lottery together, but they decided to take a chance on the jackpot. They have thrown around a few ideas for what to do with the winnings.

“Maybe we’d charter a plane or a cruise ship – give our clients a free cruise,” she joked.

To see updates on the ever-growing Mega Millions jackpot, visit www.calottery.com/play/draw-games/mega-millions.

Chronicle staff writer Lauren Hernandez contributed to this report.

Ashley McBride is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @ashleynmcb

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