Greg Corbin was hoping for lucky 42.

The Elkton, Md., man has attended 46 grand openings at Chick-fil-A locations across the country, each time hoping to win 52 free meals.

He's won 41 times, and he made a two-hour drive to York early Wednesday morning, hoping to get another win.

"It's a lot of fun," he said.

By dawn, more than 225 people showed up at the new Chick-fil-A at 922 Loucks Road, hoping to be one of the first 100 adults in line when the restaurant opens at 6 a.m. Thursday, according to spokeswoman Tiffany Simmons.

Because of the large turnout, those who lived nearby were told they wouldn't have to spend the day on site.

The remaining crowd - about 171 people - were going to spend the day in the restaurant's parking lot, setting up tents and participating in various activities hosted by Chick-fil-A, including free meals and music.

The Atlanta-based chicken chain conducted a raffle Wednesday morning to award a one-year supply (52 certificates) of free Chick-fil-A meals to 100 guests. Those 100 winners will receive the certificates during Thursday's grand opening.

A tradition: Like Corbin, Eleanor Wagoner also traveled from Elkton, Md., and arrived in York City at 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, hoping to win for the 39th time.

"Obviously you come to win the free meals, but it's also a good time," she said.

She was relieved York's forecast for Wednesday was a high of 84.

"I once traveled eight hours to Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, in the snow for an opening," she said.

Christina Hay, a Lancaster County resident, had a shorter commute.

She attended one grand opening before at a location in Lancaster, but most of the activities were canceled because of rain, she said.

"I'm really looking forward to being part of one in good weather," Hay said. "They treat us well and will feed us breakfast, lunch and dinner while we wait."

It took her about 10 months to go through the 52 certificates from her first win, she said.

"I have three kids, so we used them a lot," Hay said.

Mark Bevins wasn't sure how long his certificates have lasted.

The Cleveland resident traveled to York in search of his 19th win.

"It's a lot of fun. You start to see some of the same people you've seen at other openings. It's good food. Even if you don't win the free meals for a year, you at least get a free breakfast, lunch and dinner out of it," he said.

- Candy Woodall can also be reached at