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Cross River Pharmacy Fills With Mega Millions Dreamers

CROSS RIVER, N.Y. – The commercial says that all you need is a dollar and dream. On Thursday afternoon, the Cross River Pharmacy was packed with people who were dreaming big.

With the New York Mega Millions jackpot now at a record- breaking $540 million and climbing, people were lining up to take a shot at becoming a part of history.

“We’ve been very busy,” said Maria Carlino, a cashier at the pharmacy. “Everybody’s been buying the Mega Millions and not the other lotteries. But they’re spending much more than a dollar. They’re spending 10 to 20 dollars at a time.”

Margaret Genden and her 5-year-old son, Henry, came down from North Salem to buy some Benadryl and decided they might as well get in the on the action while they were there.

“I didn’t make a special trip for this. I never usually play (the lottery) at all,” Genden said. “But I got a couple of quick picks and then I let my son pick some numbers.”

Even though he wasn’t sure what the lottery was all about, Henry said he believed he was bringing some expertise to the table.

“I helped my mom pick out the number because I’m really good at picking numbers,” he said.

Allison Brush-Stern came across the border from Ridgefield, Conn. to get her tickets.

“I’m in a pool at work in New York City, but I came here to get five (tickets) of my own,” Brush-Stern said. “I played the numbers of kids’ ages, plus my age and my husband’s age. But the numbers don’t go up as high as my husband’s age – they stop at 56, so I played 56.”

Bush-Stern said her sister in Florida wanted to get in on a chance to be a multi-millionaire as well.

“My sister lives in Ft. Lauderdale and sent me an email with the numbers she wants me to play for her,” Brush-Stern said. “I’ll get two tickets for her.”

If Bush-Stern wins the half-a-billion-dollar jackpot, she already knows how she’ll spend the money. In fact, she had a written list in her pocketbook.

“First, I will give some to a children’s charity,” Brush-Stern said. “Then I want to knock down my house and then build my dream house on the same lot. I also would buy a second home in the East Hamptons. My husband wants a Porsche Carrera and I want a black and white Range Rover. I would also set aside $500,000 for my kids’ college education.”

Bush-Stern paused a moment and thought.

“Oh, yeah – I’d quit my job and spend more time with the kids,” she said with a laugh.

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