The Corner General Store in Portland doesn’t sell lottery tickets, so when regular customers of the Old Port business start asking for them, owner Cary Cox knows there’s a big jackpot.

A couple had already come in looking for tickets within an hour of Cox’s arrival at the store Friday, when the Mega Millions jackpot reached $425 million.

“This happens every time there’s a large pool,” she said.

Superstition didn’t deter players hoping that Friday the 13th would bring them good luck in the recently revamped Mega Millions game, as heavy sales prompted lottery officials to boost the jackpot from $400 million to $425 million.

Paula Otto, the Virginia Lottery’s executive director and Mega Millions’ lead director, said sales were 40 percent ahead of projections, prompting officials to boost the jackpot before the Friday night drawing.

“Won’t it be fun if we have a huge lottery winner on Friday the 13th?” she said. “I always say there are no unlucky numbers in the lottery. I work on the 13th floor of our building. I like 13.”

Employees of Portland convenience stores that do sell lottery tickets said they didn’t see a major uptick in sales Friday.

But there were more Mega Millions players at Joe’s Smoke Shop on Congress Street, thanks to cashier Stephen Miller.

Most people came in looking for Powerball tickets, he said, until he let them know the Mega Millions jackpot was 10 times the size.

“I don’t think people are aware of it,” he said.

Sam Qamar, who was working at Bayside Variety on Friday, also said Powerball is more popular at that store.

When the jackpot is over $400 million, he sells 100 tickets a day. He said he sold fewer than 20 Mega Millions tickets on Friday.

“It’s just normal. I don’t see a difference,” Qamar said.

The estimated $425 million jackpot is the second-largest Mega Millions jackpot ever, trailing a $656 million jackpot in March 2012, and it is the fifth-largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history. The current jackpot has rolled over 20 times, and a winner from Friday night’s drawing could have a cash option of $228 million before taxes.

Tom Leuangkhamsone doesn’t usually play Mega Millions, but he bought one ticket Friday morning at a convenience store in Atlanta.

“I feel lucky today,” he said.

In New York, tickets were selling at a pace of $500,000 an hour Friday morning. A spokeswoman, Christy Calicchia, said sales are normally between $60,000 and $70,000 an hour.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.