Mega Millions estimated jackpot: $290 million

March 24, 2012 12:23:00 AM PDT
What would you do with $290 million? That's the amount of cash up for grabs in Friday night's Mega Millions lottery jackpot drawing.

The winning Mega Millions lottery numbers for Draw #705: 06, 17, 19, 20, 21, MEGA: 20.

11 p.m. Update: No one won the lottery Friday night so the jackpot will now climb to $356 million.

A job is the last thing you'll need if you have a Mega Millions ticket. The jackpot is huge-- nearly $300 million bucks. Of course, the odds of winning very slim, but we can dream.

Tons of people have been storming convenience stores to get their chance at the prize.

Ticket, after ticket, after ticket, have been printed. Some believe the more tickets you buy, the more chances you have.

Mega Millions players who would ordinarily buy three or five tickets have purchased $50 and $100 worth. Some of the buyers aren't in California.

"Most of them are for people back east. When it gets high like $290 million, they call me and give me the numbers and I send them to them," said a man who wouldn't tell us his name or strategy.

Everyone plays for their own reasons.

"So I can win a lot of money because I'm unemployed right now. I'm going to go get some more money out of the bank and buy about five more," said Donel Hill.

And though the odds of winning are 1 in 175 million.

"They have a dream, right? Until you know, the results come out," said Charles Ahn, a convenience store owner.

The thought of a luxurious early retirement was a popular one, except with Earl Gadsden. You may have heard Gadsden performing in BART stations around the city. He's even been featured on ABC7. And why on earth would he keep working after winning the jackpot?

"Because what I do is needed. They need my music. It'll be interesting because for once, I will play in BART, and not need the money," said Gadsden.

Now, if you can believe this, $290 million is only the 15th largest lottery jackpot in American history, but if nobody guesses this week's winning numbers, the jackpot could rise to $350 million -- making it the 5th largest ever.

The winner could pick a lump sum estimated to be about $205 million, or you could get a 26 year payout of $11.2 million per year over 26 years.


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