266 Million Reasons to Spend a Buck

By Lori Preuitt
|  Tuesday, May 4, 2010  |  Updated 4:29 PM PDT
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Do you feel lucky?

If so, head on over to your closest 7-Eleven and buy a Mega Millions lottery ticket.   Your odds are the same (about zero) no matter the jackpot, but it's a lot more fun to join in when it gets this high.
 
Lottery officials say there is still time for a little wiggle room, but expect tonight's jackpot to hit $266 million.  That is up from $224 million on Friday.  It's No. 8 on the all-time high list of $315 million back in November 2005.

Some tips from the experts:

  • A "quick pick" is not the best way to play the lottery.  What a computer chooses for you randomly and what you choose specifically based on birthdays and whatnot are no more or less likely to win.  In fact, the pick 1,2,3,4 with powerball 5 is no less likely to win than any other string of numbers.
  • Choose high numbers.  That way you can avoid splitting the pot on the off chance you do win.  Most people choose the lower numbers because of birthdays and anniversaries.
  • Statisticians say your odds are better if you buy five tickets in one lottery, instead of one ticket in five lotteries.

MEGA Millions is a multi-state game, played in California and 38 other states.

You pick five numbers from 1 to 56 plus a Mega-number from 1 to 46.

The drawing is at 8 p.m.

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