DES MOINES, Iowa (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — There’s always talk about the horrible odds and “money better spent”… but a giant jackpot has Mega Millions lottery players willing to take a chance at instant wealth.
Initially the top prize stood at $502 million, but just before lunchtime on Friday the estimated jackpot jumped to $521 million.
It’s the nation’s 10th largest lottery jackpot. No one has matched all six numbers drawn since January.
It costs $2 to play the game and a willingness to ignore the fact that you’ll almost certainly lose. The odds of winning the jackpot are one in 302 million, though odds of winning smaller prizes are better.
The $521 million amount is paid as an annuity over 29 years. The winner/winners opting for the cash option would take home $317 million.
Mega Millions is played in Texas, 43 other states plus Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
In Dallas, ticket buyers are hoping a little faith helps them pick the winning numbers and take home the big prize.
“I’ll get it, just in good faith that I may win,” said customer Pamela Turner. “That’s too much money for me to even think about.”
Gas station managers like one at Fuel City in Dallas say they’ve seen a boom in Mega Millions sales with over 300 tickets sold in the last week. Customers are hoping to win big and give back.
“It would change my life a whole lot. We’ve got a lot going on in my little family. It would help a lot. Sending my nephew to college. I’ve got one in college now,” said Gwen Reece.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)