By Kristen Cloyed, Entertainment Editor
Last week’s record Mega Millions jackpot brought record ticket sales. Standing at over $640 million, this jackpot brought even the most secluded souls out with the idea of becoming filthy rich.
“I haven’t left my house in almost a decade,” said Oscar Whittle, a freelance telemarketer from Gretna, Neb. “But this jackpot was just too good to pass up.”
Whittle was so optimistic about his chances of winning that he unplugged his telephone for the reading of the winning numbers Friday night.
When the results came in, Whittle was a winner, along with 640 million others across the country. He was ecstatic. Neighbors reported hearing his screams echo throughout the night. Whittle was clearly unaware that winning didn’t necessarily mean instant riches, especially if more than one person wins at the same time.
“I’ve never won anything before!” Whittle said. “I feel out of this world. This is great!”
When asked what he would do with the money, Whittle, an avid history buff, said he was going to buy George Washington’s wooden teeth.
“I can’t wait to try them out,” he said. “This is honestly a dream come true.”
The mood from pretty much everyone else was less enthusiastic. Small business owner Nichole Vigo was excited, until she realized her payout would amount to less than a dollar.
“My lawyer said I’ll probably come out owing money on this one,” Vigo said.
Vigo runs Stank Away, a pet grooming store in south Omaha. She bought her lottery ticket in hopes of expanding her store to include a water slide for small pooches. She said the slide would “enrich the grooming experience.”
The UNO campus also caught lottery fever. Senior Bettie Como bought 10 tickets in hopes of a workless lifestyle after she graduates in May. Now, Como says, her job outlook is pretty bleak.
“I guess I’ll have to get a real job now,” Como said. “This is the worst day of my life.”
UNO statistics professor Lionel McAllister didn’t buy a ticket because he thought his chances of winning were slim to none. He is still in shock over the outcome.
“640 million people won?” McAllister asked. “What are the odds?”
No word yet on how Mega Millions plans to get in contact with every single winner. Mega Millions CEO Woody Geary is completely stumped.
“We certainly weren’t prepared for a payout of this magnitude,” Geary said. “Right now we’re more concerned with fielding calls and quelling any negative feelings people might have toward our company.”