Mid-Southerners Flock to Buy Mega Millions Tickets

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(Memphis) The price of a dream is one dollar.

Up until 9:45p.m. Friday, people across the Mid-South flocked to convenience stores in record numbers, for a record jackpot. Ticket holders chattered at work and with friends, about what they would do if they won.

The $640 million prize has a cash value of $462 million. The chances of winning the jackpot are one in 176 million.

The winning numbers are: 2, 4, 23, 38 and 46.  The Megaball number is 23.

If the winner chooses to receive the money in annual installments, he/she would get more than $24 million per year for 26 years.

There are nine ways to win money with Mega Millions. The winnings can be as little as $2 and as much as $250,000 without winning the jackpot.

As of 2:30p.m., Tennessee had sold $17.2 million worth of Mega Millions tickets, earning $7 million for education for the state.

Of course after 2:30p.m., people were still getting off work and rushing to gas stations for a few tickets before the deadlines. Lines formed at almost every store.

"I’ve never seen it this packed for this," said Randy Dye. "Everybody’s talking about it. I mean, that’s a lot of money."

Even those who have never participated in the lottery were drawn in by the huge numbers.

One ticket-holder said, "My daughter-in-law, who’s never played, called her husband and said, ‘What am I supposed to be buying?’"

One is more likely to be struck by lightning or to be attacked by a shark, than to win the Mega Millions jackpot. But that doesn't seem to matter.

"I’ll probably get hit by lightning, then I’ll get this. I’ll have both."

"I guess I’ll be eaten by the shark, and it’ll pay my hospital bills."

One group traveling from Missouri had purchased several tickets at different locations, feeling it would increase their luck.

Some wrote their own lucky numbers and others let the machine do "quick picks" at random.

Warren Gaines said his last name would make him the winner, along with the fact that he just retired from MLGW on Friday.

"I’d give a lot of money to all my friends, especially that much money. Probably buy a few of them houses," Gaines said.

Most people mentioned taking care of their family and friends, and giving to charitable organizations. A lot of players also talked about taking vacations, like cruising around the world.

They all know the odds. But they also know it's just fun to dream: a dream that only costs a dollar.

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