As Long Island was about to finally learn the identity of its new mega-millionaire, Amanda Fers knew one thing.
She'd feel better if the winner of the Dec. 27 drawing is "someone who needs the money," she said. "Not somebody who's rich. Somebody from around here, middle class or poor, with kids."
Friday, New York State Lottery officials said, they'll reveal the winner at the store. The jackpot's lump-sum cash option -- a one-time payment instead of an annuity paid over 26 years -- is worth $153.3 million before taxes.
The winning Mega Millions ticket had the Mega numbers 23, 32, 33, 39, 43 and a Mega Ball of 8. A lottery spokeswoman Thursday declined to say anything about the winner, keeping the mystery alive for a few more hours.
Thursday, King Kullen shoppers picked up groceries as any other day, and some customers said they just didn't care about the supermarket's big winner.
"I'd care if it were me," said shopper Eric Harrison, 41, of Ridge.
Kevin "Flattop" Flynn, 51, a barber at the Barber & Beauty hair salon just down Middle Country Road from the store, was curious to find out if he knows the winner. "Maybe there will be a nicer Christmas tip next year," he saidadding, "hopefully it's someone who's so enamored with the area, they'll spruce it up."
A sign at the King Kullen courtesy counter, where the winning ticket was sold, advertised a relatively paltry $42 million Mega Millions jackpot.
Store workers said they were not allowed to comment. But Tony Femminella, vice president of store operations, said in a statement that the employees are "looking forward to finally learning the identity of the lucky Mega winner." The $208 million jackpot exceeded the previous largest prize won on Long Island by about $6.1 million. Twenty Melville Costco employees who won $201.9 million claimed their Power Ball prize on June 1. And Richard and Mary Morrison, formerly of Miller Place, claimed a $165 million Mega Millions prize on Jan. 4, 2010. They now live in Belle Terre.
With Ellen Yan