Madison resident John Moncrief knows what he'll do first if he wins Friday's $640 million Mega Millions jackpot.
"I'm going to buy my brother-in-law a church. He's a preacher," said a smiling Moncrief, who bought $20 worth of Mega Millions tickets at a PDQ store on Fish Hatchery Road on Friday afternoon.
He certainly wasn't alone.
Lottery ticket lines swelled across the country as Americans wagered nearly $1.5 billion on what could be the biggest single lotto payout in the world.
The jackpot, if taken as a $462 million lump sum and after federal tax withholding, works out to about $347 million.
"It's been nuts all day," said PDQ employee Brenda Finney, who expected a record one-day sale of lottery tickets in anticipation of Friday night's drawing.
On Thursday the store did $1,100 in Mega Millions sales, Finney said, adding that on Friday, "We beat that number by noon."
There was a steady flow of customers buying Mega Millions lottery tickets at the PDQ despite the crazy odds (1:175,711,536) of winning. The average sale per customer was about $5, but one man bought $60, Finney said.
She added that most of the purchases were Quick Picks, or tickets where the numbers were picked by the lottery machine. Most stood at the counter and asked for "a Mega ticket" or a ticket for "the big one."
There were some creative purchases, too. Madison resident Kelly Vindedahl and her 2-year-old son, Asher, picked the numbers together for one of three tickets she purchased. "He puts the pen down on a number and I fill it in," Vindedahl said.
Vindedahl said she isn't a regular lottery ticket buyer. "But someone has to win so why not me?" she asked with a smile.
Kate Wierwill, who picked the numbers for five tickets, stood in line and announced, "This is the winning ticket. Tell everybody who comes through the door not to bother anymore."
Wierwill, a Verona resident who played for the UW-Madison women's golf team a few years ago, said she will retire and golf all day if she has the winning lottery ticket.
Not everybody bought a ticket Friday .
Jeffrey Williams had a simple answer for why he wasn't buying a ticket. "Because of other stuff I need to spend my money on," he said as he pointed to his son, Jacquann, 9.
Finney wasn't playing, either. "I'm the only one working in my household so the money stays there," she said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.