UPDATE: 3-30-12 4:00 pm PST
Across the country, Lottery crazed Americans plunked down an estimated $1.5 billion on the longest of long shots: an infinitesimally small chance to win what could end up being the single biggest lottery payout the world has ever seen, reported by Associated Press.
UPDATE: 3-30-12 12:00pm
The jackpot is now $640 million and still growing. The winner will be drawn tonight at 11:00PM Eastern time in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Mega Millions lottery hit $540 million on Thursday, and people endured long lines for a chance at winning the hefty jackpot – an amount that could rise as more tickets are sold for Friday’s drawing, according to msnbc news.\
Mega Millions is played in 42 states, plus Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Players pay $1 for a ticket and must pick five numbers from 1 to 56 plus a Mega number from 1 to 46 to win the jackpot. The odds of winning are 1 in about 176 million, according to the official Mega Millions website.
The largest Mega Millions jackpot ever won was $390 million in March 2007, when the prize was split between two tickets sold in Georgia and New Jersey.
According to the California Lottery, the luckiest store in the state is Kavanagh Liquors in San Lorenzo, which has sold four winning tickets.
In Los Angeles County, three stores share the record for selling three winning tickets: Mr. C's Liquor in San Pedro, Town + Country Newstand in Los Angeles and Mike's Beverage Shop in Quartz Hill.
Can’t get to your local retailer? Not to worry. You can play online here.
Also, if you don’t know if your state is one of the 42 participating states, here is wikipedia’s list with a description of Mega Millions.
Good Luck! The drawing is Friday 30 in Atlanta, Georgia at 11PM Eastern Time.
(Although I have read that you are more likely to get hit by lightening than win the lottery.)