A historic $540 million jackpot is up for grabs Friday as the Mega Millions lottery is living up to its name.
The jackpot, which lottery officials are calling "the largest lottery jackpot in world history," has captivated the nation, caused long lines at convenience stores and has many dreaming of creative ways to quit their jobs if they were to get the lucky numbers.
"Friday night's Mega Millions will be a spectacular event"
"Friday night's Mega Millions drawing will truly be a spectacular event in lottery history and provides an unprecedented opportunity for players to take a chance on a half-billion dollar dream for just the $1 price of a ticket," said Gary Grief, executive director of the Texas Lottery and lead director for the Mega Millions group.
Sales have skyrocketed at Manhattan Tobacco, a New York convenience store, said Alex Shanahe, a cashier. Shanahe, says the store is lucky as in the past it has sold winning tickets of $3 million and a $5 million.
"The sales have tripled. Everybody wants to win the Mega Millions," Shanahe said.
The Mega Millions' jackpot reached $540 million Thursday, the biggest for any lottery. Winners can choose to receive annual payments or, if they pick the cash option, can be given a lump sum of $389 million.
Watch the live drawing on Local 4
The drawing will be held Friday at 11 p.m.. You can watch it live on WDIV- Local 4. It can take several hours for lottery officials to determine if there is a winner and what state the winning ticket was purchased.
The Mega Millions lottery is played in 42 states plus the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands, lottery officials say.
The odds of winning the jackpot is about one in 176 million, which means you would have a better chance of getting struck by lightning.
Myra Langford, a 70-year old retired school administrator said she knows the odds but still bought five tickets.
If she wins she said she would help fix the roof of her church and move out of the cramped Queens apartment she lived in for the past 47 years.
"You got to be in it to win it," Langford said.