Another N. Texan Wins With MegaMillions

By Frank Heinz
|  Wednesday, Jan 5, 2011  |  Updated 5:57 PM CDT
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One lucky player from Oak Cliff, <a title=James Emerson, matched five-of-five balls, a feat worthy of a $250,000 payoff, with the megaplier, he boosted the winning total to $1 million." />

Ken Kalthoff, NBCDFW.com

One lucky player from Oak Cliff, James Emerson, matched five-of-five balls, a feat worthy of a $250,000 payoff, with the megaplier, he boosted the winning total to $1 million.

Two people in the nation are splitting Tuesday night's MegaMillions $355 million jackpot, but they aren't from Texas.  That doesn't mean there weren't any Texans to strike it big. 

One lucky player from Oak Cliff, James Emerson, matched five-of-five balls, a feat worthy of a $250,000 payoff. Emerson also smartly played the megaplier, boosting the winning total to $1 million.

Emerson told NBCDFW Wednesday that he worked at the Hampton Texaco, where he bought the winning ticket, for nine years before leaving six months ago to start his own business.  The gas station is located on the 5900 block of Hampton Road. 

Emerson said he plays the lottery a lot and prior to the $1 million payday had won about $20,000. For Tuesday's drawing, Emerson said he bought 100 tickets and megaplied them all -- a total gamble of $200 that resulted in the $1 million payday.

Emerson is the second North Texan in one week to match five of five balls in the MegaMillions lottery.

A player in Lubbock, not Houston as originally reported, also matched five-of-five in Tuesday's drawing, but they didn't play the megaplier. That player will walk away with $250,000.

The big winners

One of two winning Mega Millions tickets was bought at a Safeway supermarket in the Eastern Washington town of Ephrata.

Washington's Lottery spokesman Scott Kinney said Wednesday the winners will be sharing a $380 million jackpot. He says that's higher than the previous $355 million because of feverish sales before Tuesday night's drawing.

The other winning ticket was sold in Idaho. Lottery officials there have not said where that ticket was sold.

The drawing drew huge interest across the country as thousands of people lined up to buy tickets in 41 states and Washington, D.C., where the game is available.

The winning numbers were 4, 8, 15, 25 and 47, with 42 being the "Mega ball" number.

The Lost effect

Fans of the ABC television show "Lost" are having some fun with the jackpot.

Four of the six winning numbers matched those that character Hugo "Hurley" Reyes used to win a lottery on the show, only to suffer a series of spectacular misfortunes. Hurley's numbers -- 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42 -- popped up throughout the show.

Mega Millions said 25,587 tickets matched three of the winning numbers, plus the bonus number -- so anyone who played the "Lost" numbers won $150 per ticket.

Associated Press writer Oskar Garcia in Las Vegas contributed to this report.

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