North Central Florida Residents Play to Win Near Record Mega Millions Jackpot Despite the Odds
NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA-A Mega Millions jackpot of over $600 million had many in North Central Florida betting the odds Tuesday night.
Players we talked to had this to say," Got a dollar in my pocket might as well."
"I could make a lot of people happy with $600 million."
"Normally I don't gamble but money like this is just, you know, a once in a lifetime opportunity."
At last word, the jackpot was only $20 million shy of last year's record breaking number. On Tuesday, sales for the game skyrocketed. In the afternoon, $12 million worth of tickets had been sold. At that time, lottery officials told us 282 tickets were being sold per second.
A gas station clerk selling the game said, "Very, very hectic. They just say whatever the big prize [is] I want to play. They even don't know what is the big one."
There hasn't been a jackpot winner for Mega Millions since October. Later in that same month, officials changed the game's rules making the odds of winning the grand prize the worst of any American lottery game, ever. You now have a one in 259 million chance of winning the jackpot but if you're a few numbers off you can still win big.
Florida Lottery Gainesville District Manager Ron Bennett said "They've changed the matrix and everything and they've changed the odds on it so jackpots will get bigger more frequently but the prize payout, your better chances of winning is greater, maybe not for the jackpot, but for the other prizes."
Non-jackpot prizes can reach up to $5 million. If no one gets all of Tuesday night's numbers, Bennett says the jackpot should be close to $1 billion.
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