What are the odds? Mega jackpot hits $355 million

January 4, 2011 3:40:31 PM PST
The Mega Millions lottery has now rolled over 15 times and the jackpot is at an eye-popping, heart-stopping $355 million.

ABC7's Frank Mathie went looking for the lucky winner.

All across the country they are buying Mega Millions tickets at a rate of 240,000 a minute. They are tickets to dream, and if you don't buy, you can't dream.

"I will pay off all my bills and then it would be a matter of taking care of my family," said Larry Yancy, who's hoping for $355 million.

At the lobby newsstand in the Thompson Center the line has not stopped all day.

The vast majority buy the quick picks. They let the machine do the guessing.

But there are others who have their special numbers. Lili Adams has top secret numbers. Do they ever win? "Yes." Can she tell us what they are? "No. Ha, ha, ha."

A single winner will probably take the cash buyout and after taxes will clear well over $100 million.

It's a dreamer's delight.

Jeffrey Petty is all set for a big change. He's dreaming about retiring soon. How soon? "Tonight," he said.

Do you know what your odds are of winning? One in 176 million.

But you can improve your odds. All you have to do is spend a little more money.

ABC7 talked to DePaul University statistician Dr. Tim McMurry.

"If you have more than one ticket you have more than one chance to win," said Dr. McMurry. "If you buy two tickets, you have two chances to win, but it costs you twice as much...It's still two in a 176 million, but that's a little bit better than one in a 176 million."

By the way, the store that sells the winning ticket gets $500,000. But in this story that's peanuts.