In an act of dubious largess, state lottery officials gave eight free Lotto tickets to the Huntington Beach man who would have won $8 million if he had bought a Lotto card on Nov. 18, as he had for every other game since Lotto began in California more than a year ago. Jim DeSantis' lucky numbers--44 12 39 36 2 47--were drawn on the day he failed to buy a card because he was called in to work early. DeSantis is a foreman in The Times' Orange County production department. Launching a new kind of "Advance Play" ticket, which allows players to buy Lotto cards up to eight games in advance, lottery officials presented DeSantis with eight free tickets--one for every million dollars he would have won. The press conference was held at the 7-Eleven where DeSantis buys his tickets. Said DeSantis: "I still think I'm going to win."