Emma Jones, 54, thinks she just might hold the winning ticket.
Welder Harry Bushrod believes he might.
So does sales rep Inelda Abraham, as well as thousands more across Maryland and even some out-of-towners.
All are pouring money into the state's pocketbook in hopes of getting rich quick in today's by hitting today's Lotto jackpot, which could exceed $14 million, the fourth-largest in state lottery history. In May 1988, four winners split the state's largest pot, $15 million.
Carroll Hynson, spokesman for the Maryland State Lottery Agency, said today's sales of lottery tickets for the $14 million jackpot are still brisk. Between 7 p.m. last night and 9 a.m. this morning, 700,000 tickets were sold around the state, totaling 2,342,000 tickets so far. Hynson said a total of 3 million tickets are expected to be sold before the drawing tonight.
In Lotto, players spend a dollar to match six numbers, from 1 to 49, drawn in the twice-a-week game. They get two chances per dollar. If players don't pick all six numbers, they still can win much lesser sums, if they have four or five of the numbers.
"Whenever the pot is large, sales increase tremendously," said Trina Dabney, 22, a sales clerk at Metro Plaza Liquors in Mondawmin Mall, where Jones, Bushrod and Abraham were buying.
By 7:30 last night, the store had sold 3,051 tickets yesterday, she said, adding that's more than usual, although she couldn't say how much more.
Since Monday, terminals have remained open until 11 p.m. to allow more people to buy the paper of fortune, Garrett said. They will shut down about 7:45 tonight. The drawing is held shortly before 8 p.m. and is televised on Channel 54.
"If I win, I'll buy a great big rancher out in the country where there are no people," said Jones, an assistant manager, as she stood in the Lotto line. "I'd furnish it from top to bottom."
Jones said she was spending only $2 for a chance at the winning ticket that could change her life. "That's all I can afford," she explained.
Bushrod, somewhere in line ahead of her, said that if he picked all six numbers, he'd pay off all his bills and take a vacation.
He wasn't discouraged by the 7 million-to-one odds, either. "I'm going to lose it one way or another," he said of the money. "I might be that one."
Bushrod, like many in the Lotto line, said he based his numbers on relatives' birthdays and addresses.
One woman, in a green shorts set, said that if she was the lucky player, she'd buy both her daughters a home and go live on an island in the Caribbean.
"If it's God's will," she said, "then I'll have it."