STATEN ISLAND, NY — A lucky person bought a $1 million Mega Millions lottery ticket at a convenience store on Staten Island.
The second-prize Match 5 ticket was sold at Honey Bee at 1774 Forest Ave. in Graniteville, a lottery spokesman confirmed.
Reporters and TV cameras converged on the store, which is located near Richmond Avenue, on Wednesday morning as the suspense intensified over whether the winner would show up in person to claim the prize.
The next jackpot will be an estimated $1.02 billion since no one picked all of the winning numbers of 07-29-60-63-66 and Mega Ball 15.
A second $1 million ticket also was sold in New York at Cumberland Farms at 103 Maple St. in Corinth in Saratoga County.
A total of eight Match 5 winners bought tickets worth $1 million each, including two in New Jersey, and one each in California, Florida, Ohio and Illinois. A ninth lucky Match 5 winner in Ohio had the Megaplier for a bounty of $3 million.
Friday’s drawing, where a player could become an instant billionaire, will be at 11 pm
The Honey Bee has a history of producing winners and in 2010 it was the number-two lottery retailer in New York state, selling about $5 million worth of tickets every year, according to Advance records.
At least four people have become millionaires after buying tickets at the store over the years, including one man who hit for $30 million in 2005.
“How much was the winner in this store?” Nick, the manager, asked reporters. “One million dollars, that’s it? You sure it’s not a billion?”
“We sold the winner,” Nick said, adding that he didn’t yet know the identify of the lucky ticket holder.
“It’s not me,” he said. “It’s got to be one of our customers.”
The store was abuzz with speculation about the winner and customers fantasized about what they would do if they became instant lottery millionaires or billionaires.
“I come here every morning,” said customer Randy Duncan of Staten Island. “I grab my coffee, play a couple of bucks and keep going to work.”
When asked if he thought the Honey Bee brought luck to players, Duncan said, “There’s something about this store.
“The store always has a winner no matter what’s played — Win 4, Take 5, all the lottery, people win here and that’s why people flock here to play.”
If he garners the billion-dollar jackpot, Duncan said he likely will pay off his home mortgage immediately, buy a new car, invest some of the money and stop working.
Harold Williams, who lives in Brooklyn, was headed to Honey Bee to buy coffee when he was approached by reporters.
“I wish I was,” he said when asked if he was the $1 million winner.
“I think that’s wonderful,” Williams said of the anticipated Mega Millions jackpot of over $1 billion.
If there are winners, “hopefully they can give back to the community because that’s what we need for the youth that’s coming up,” Williams said.
“I think that we should think about our future.”
Should he capture the billion-dollar prize, Williams said he would donate a portion of his winnings.
“I would give a lot of it to charity,” he said, because “people are not eating, people need friends, they just need some type of connection and that’s where I would give back most of my money.”