The Morning Note: Winning the Lottery May Get Easier

New Jersey Lotto Sales Slumping

Fewer New Jerseyans are lining up to tempt Lady Luck despite tonight's whopping  $145 million Mega Millions purse. Revenues from lottery tickets are down one percent since last July, according to the state Department of Treasury.  While the slump in sales may mean better chances for players, not everyone is happy about the drop off. Ketu Patel, a local convenience store owner, told the Star Ledger, "We're supposed to see the line of people. And nothing right now." 

Budget Crisis? What Budget Crisis?

Michelle Paterson's wife seems to be one of the lucky few unaffected by New York State's budget crisis. According to today's New York Post, the First Lady's chief of staff was given a $25,000 raise and $3,866 bonus, bringing her yearly salary to $113,000. Gov. David Paterson has recently been pushing for 130,000 public workers to give up their 3 percent pay hikes.

Dinosaur Skeleton Auction Expected to Cost Big Bones

Bringing new meaning to the word antique, an entire dinosaur skeleton will be auctioned off March 21 at the I.M. Chait Gallery. The 9-foot long, 3-foot wide skeleton of a Dryosaurus is roughly 150 million years old and is being sold by an anonymous private collector. The Hypsilophodontids (say that five times fast) is expected to go for anywhere from $440,000 to $500,000.  

Extreme Robbery Caught on Tape 

Police are looking for a at least two thieves who used heavy-duty blowtorches to cut a hole in the roof of the Astoria Federal Savings Bank and steal at least 60 safe-deposit boxes. According to the New York Post, the burglars were captured on surveillance cameras making off with the loot. The break in was discovered Monday morning by employees. 

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