The chances of winning the Mega Millions are a truly miraculous 1-in-302.6 million, so why did so many people play for the estimated $1.6 billion jackpot?
According to UCLA psychiatry professor Timothy M.D. Fong, it involves buying into the fantasy we might win, rather than really believing we will, NBC News Better reports.
Americans "love spectacular scenes and big events. When you think about it, lining up to buy lottery tickets is completely unnecessary, but people do it because they want to be a part of the spectacle," he said.
One study has shown that winning the lottery leads to a better life, but another has shown that people who feel poor tend to play more, and Fong said it's also possible to get addicted.