FORT MYERS, Fla. - Lotto fever is spreading throughout Southwest Florida with hundreds of millions of dollars up for grabs.
Florida's new Mega Millions jackpot debuted Friday night at $190 million dollars. But, the big ticket is the Powerball with a pot up to $600 million dollars. That will be drawn Saturday night.
Every ring of the cash register, and every rip of a ticket could be the sound of a millionaire in the making. Friday, customers at RaceTrac on Martin Luther king blvd were already making generous plans on how they'll spend the largest-ever Powerball jackpot, once they win, of course.
"Pay off some debt, buy some houses for my kids and myself," Latoya Donaldson said.
"I have big hopes to help out of needy so, we'll see," Nadaud Jacques-Lous said. "One life to live, might as well try it."
Back in December of 2007, six numbers changed Jason Fry's life forever: 2-12-32-36-40 and 43. "I looked at the numbers after it was drawn, looked at it again and again, checked the date and everything," Fry said.
At the time, the Fort Myers man was just trying to make ends meet. On a whim, he and a co-worker bought just two tickets. The winning ticket, held by another local winner, was worth $47-million dollars. As promised, he split the $14-million dollar lump sum with his co-worker. "I started Batteries Plus, took the one over in Fort Myers and started three more," Fry said. "and, I started a golf tournament in Southwest Florida called the Sun Cup which we've tried to make the biggest amateur event in the world."
He said the best part about winning is that he gets to spend more time with his family. Life has definitely changed since 2007. But, Jason did his best to make sure the money never changed him. He has some advice for whoever's holding that golden ticket. "You've got to trust people and you've got to be firm with them," Fry said. "That's the biggest thing is people will try to take advantage of you. It's not so much people coming out of the woodwork, it's your friends. I've always been and entrepreneur at heart, I just have had the money to do it. Now, I have the money and I am doing so many things and I'm loving it."