Lotto Fever Intensifies With A Jackpot Still Up For Grabs

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Lotto Fever Intensifies With A Jackpot Still Up For Grabs
The Mega Millions jackpot has now ballooned to more than a billion dollars, making it one of the biggest ever.

It’s lotto fever tonight: Americans are forking over a couple bucks a ticket for a shot at a billion-dollar prize. 

"I don't need that much, probably a million is fine," said lottery player Lynn Carmen. "But..."

The Mega Millions jackpot has now ballooned to more than a billion dollars, making it one of the biggest ever. 

In New York City, bodega worker Patrick Patel is seeing hundreds of dollars dropped on tickets. 

"I can say it’s like 1,500 in a day just for a Mega," Patel said.

All for a pie-in-the-sky shot at that billion-dollar jackpot. 

"But that's actually the annuity option that is paid over 30 annual payments," says Scott McFetridge, with the Associated Press. "No winners actually take the annuity option. They all take the cash option."

With this jackpot, the cash payout is about $600 million, minus about 37 percent for taxes. 

And that’s only if you win, of course.

"The odds of winning the Mega Millions grand prize is one in 302.5 million," McFetridge says. "It's hard to kind of get your head around what horrible odds those are."