Local Store Unknowingly Flirts With Mega Jackpot

43 was a costly number

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    SAN FRANCISCO - MARCH 06: A man holds a bundle of Mega Millions lottery tickets that he just purchased March 6, 2007 in San Francisco, California. The lottery jackpot was up to $370 million for tonight's drawing, which will take place in New York's Times Square instead of the usual drawing location in Atlanta. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

    An unknown person purchased a lottery ticket that was one number away from hitting Tuesday's $433-million jackpot, and that was news Wednesday morning to the Mission Valley gas station-convenience store that sold it.

    When asked at about 9:45 a.m., ExxonMobil employees on 3252 University Ave. knew nothing of the winning ticket, one of five in California with numbers 14, 1, 53, 50 and 35.

    “We haven’t heard anything,” said Greg Shellenberger, United Oil retail consultant. “No one has let us know.”

    The ticket missed only the Mega number, 43, and it paid out to $297,525.

    Shellenberger called the California Lottery and, before 10:15 a.m., received confirmation the station indeed sold a winner.

    That was the good news.

    The bad news was because the jackpot was not hit, the store will not not receive a commission on the winnings.

    “We’re very pleased with it regardless whether we get any of it ourselves,” Shellenberger said. “We’re devoted to happy customers, and it’s a huge plus for our company.”

    He added: “Hopefully the person comes back and hooks up the employees or something.”

    If the unknown customer did hit the jackpot, the store would have received half of one percent of the winnings, or $1.22 million.

    Friday night's Mega Millions jackpot will be worth $304 million, the sixth largest figure in the lottery's history.