BRACEY, Va. — North Carolina does not have a lottery, but thousands of Tar Heels held tickets to the Big Game Tuesday.
The nearly $200 million jackpot is one of the biggest in history, and many North Carolinians joined in the excitement by traveling to Virginia, the closest spot to buy tickets.
The odds of a person winning is about 1 in 76 million, but that did not stop a lot of people from crossing the border to the Bracey Mini-Mart. It is only a tiny store, but Tuesday night it was full of big dreams.
As the cars loaded with high hopes flowed in from North Carolina, so did the cash.
"We get a lot North Carolinians, because there is no lottery in North Carolina,"Virginia Lotteryspokesperson Cleve Packer said. "And we love North Carolinians at the Virginia lottery."
The license plates at the mini-mart tell the tale, many Tar Heels like to gamble. One of those license plates was attached to a taxi from Chapel Hill.
O.J. Rouse drove an hour to carefully pick her lucky numbers and hope the tickets turn into "the money - the big money."
She says that if she wins she will "pay off the house, that's the first thing. Then I'm going to take a nice cruise, and then I'm going to kiss my job goodbye."
The winning numbers were 12, 17, 22, 33, 44, and the Big Game Ball number was 25. The winning ticket was purchased in Boston's Fenway Park.