Winning Mega Millions numbers announced - Dallas News |

Winning Mega Millions numbers announced

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Tuesday night's winning Mega Millions are 8, 14, 17, 20, 39, Mega Ball 7 and Megaplier 4.

Original story

The second largest jackpot in Mega Millions history, worth $636 million, will be drawn Tuesday night, but the nationwide lottery has also gotten much harder to win -- so much so that it could reach $1 billion by Christmas.

But for hopeful Mega Millions players in North Texas, the lucrative thought of winning half of $1 billion seems to overcome the lottery's unbelievable odds.

The optimism is contagious. Since no one won last Friday's drawing for $475 million, the pot skyrocketed.

"I'm gonna get one," said Derek Gunter, a Mega Millions player. "I need gas and I gotta try and eat, too. Man, I want it and I need it bad."

In late October, the lottery company made it tougher to win by adding more numbers to pick or quick pick from. It used to be odds of one to 56, and now it's one to 75.

Not a single person has cashed in since the new rules went into effect.

When Megan Millions player Tony Watson was asked if he was discouraged that the odds of winning are one in 259 million, he said, "It's the chance you take."

The previous odds were one in 176 million, and FOX 4 found a lot of wannabe millionaires happen to be infrequent gamblers.

This is my second time playing," said Watson.

So, most left their fate up to a machine to determine their numbers.

"I bought six for friends and relatives," said Edgar Macias. "I only buy one. Buying more doesn't increase your probability of hitting the jackpot, so I think just one is enough."

One dollar gets you a regular ticket, but you can increase your chances of winning by spending another buck for the Megaplier.

If someone does get lucky Tuesday night, the cash payout option is $341 million.

Breaking down the odds

"It's sort of exciting for us," said Dr. Eaton Park, a TCU math professor. "Gets people talking about math a little bit."

There's nothing like big, fat numbers to get Park calculating the odds of taking home the Mega Millions jackpot.

"You're a thousand times more likely to be struck by a meteorite than to win the lottery," said Dr. Park.  

That's probably not the hopeful kind of news folks wanted to hear as they plunked down their hard earned buck. You'd even have a better chance of spotting a UFO.

"We had a customer who bought $1,000 of Mega Millions, so that's a lot," said one store cashier where tickets are sold.

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