CHICAGO — Lottery officials upped the state Lotto jackpot to $62 million today--a national record--as gamblers and dreamers from as far away as Europe clamored to play.
The geographical range is "something we've never seen before," Illinois Lottery Director Sharon Sharp said.
Travelers passing through O'Hare International Airport jammed Lotto booths, where sales for Saturday's drawing have been just about double the average.
Ticket sales were also particularly brisk at lottery outlets near Illinois' borders with Indiana, Wisconsin and Missouri, as residents from those states flocked to get in on the action.
"They're ordering them by the hundreds. One runner from Indiana just bought $3,200 worth," sat Pat Poulos of the Deluxe Restaurant in Danville.
The previous top Lotto record was $61.98 million, set last October in California.