LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The chances of hitting the winning Mega Millions number is 1 in 302,575,350.
The odds are the same whether you are playing for $1 billion or the minimum Mega Millions jackpot of $40 million.
Still, there seems to be something about that magical threshold when millions turn to billions.
“I always play when it’s big,” Sylvia Gomes said. “I don’t know why.”
When more people play, the chances of being a solo jackpot winner actually get tougher, according to lottery officials.
Still, people who normally do not get caught up in the hype, routinely ignoring smaller jackpots of $40 million or more, decide to test the odds of a $1 billion jackpot.
Lottery officials call it “jackpot fatigue.”
“I think they don’t want to be left out,” Chip Polston, Communications Senior Vice President of the Kentucky Lottery, said. “I think people have heard so much about this, and this is such a conversation point. A lot of people are talking about this.”
Polston said 156 news stories about the Mega Millions jackpot ran on Kentucky stations in just one day.
It was enough to turn Jesse Eberle into a first-time player.
“First time, first time,” Eberle said. “The numbers are so big, I thought I’d give it a shot.”
By Friday afternoon, the signs advertising the Mega Millions lottery were unable to display all the numbers, maxing out at $999 million.
In some stores Friday night, checkout lines were extra-long as people beat the 10:45 p.m. deadline while entertaining some billion dollar dreams.
“I’ll probably retire in about a year from my illustrious job,” Michael Hearne said. “And then buy an island somewhere.”