BRACEY, Va. — The Mega Millions lottery jackpot is $220 million and growing, with the drawing scheduled for Tuesday night.
The jackpot has been building since May 7, 2004. It has rolled over 14 times without a winner.
Players hope for a winner this time. Many of those players drove up to Virginia from North Carolina to buy their tickets.
Virginia is one of 12 states involved in the lottery. Lottery-ticket sales kept at least one convenience store in Bracey hopping.
Bracey is the first stop in Virginia after crossing the state line from North Carolina. The lure of big winnings makes Mega Millions too good for some Tar Heels to pass up.
"When Mega Million gets up high, you have to take a chance," said Kathleen Shearin, of Warren County. "My family and I get a big pool together and hope we get something."
Shearin's family, from Norlina, purchased 142 lottery tickets.
Distance was no factor for Pearline McRainey, who drove from Fuquay-Varina. She said she's made the 100-mile trip for 14 years without a winning ticket.
"It's always that hope, that chance," McRainey said.
Shearin believes it is time for North Carolina voters to have a say in whether or not the state joins the lottery.
"I think they should vote 'yes,'" Shearin said of lawmakers. "It's supposed to be what the people want, so why not let the people speak? Have a vote, and let's see how it comes out."
Experts have said the odds of winning Tuesday's night Mega Millions drawing is one in 135 million.