As the Mega Millions jackpot jumps even closer to a record level, we started wondering how you could spend that to make the biggest impact.
AKRON, Ohio - All it takes is a dollar and a mega dream. Mega Millions players were not discouraged by long odds as they lined up inside local stores and gas stations for the chance of winning the largest lottery jackpot in history.
By Friday afternoon, the potential winnings grew to an astounding $640 million (before taxes, of course).
Customers hung onto hope inside Six Corners Deli in Akron, considered a lottery lucky spot. In recent years, the store has sold seven, $100,000 winning tickets and another winner worth more than $1 million.
By mid-afternoon, workers said they had sold more than 500 tickets, with sales totaling near $3,000.
"It's crazy. I heard it's going to go higher before the night is over," said customer Jack Hickey.
Rex Poslethwait, of Akron, bought his ticket at another store. He knows a little something about being lucky. In December 2010, he won $100,000 playing an Ohio lottery scratch-off game.
"I paid off all the bills off, everything I owed. In fact, for the first time in my life, I"m debt free," Poslethwait said.
He's not expecting to strike gold again, but he's determined to try.
"What the heck? Everybody else is doing it. Get on the bandwagon," Poslethwait said.
Even people who study astronomical odds are trying their luck. Dr. Timothy Norfolk, chair of mathematics at the University of Akron, bought one ticket. He's realistic about his chances. He wrote a complicated formula on a white board to show the odds.
"One in 175 million. By comparison, the odds of getting struck by lightning in a given year as a US citizen is about one in 6 million," Norfolk said.
Still, Norfolk believes there will be at least one big winner Friday night.
"With the number of people playing, I suspect at least two people are going to win. It's very likely," Norfolk said.
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