Michiana dreamers grab tickets as Mega Millions jackpot hits $586 million

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The words "Mega Millions" are on the minds of many as folks head to the store to get lottery tickets for Tuesday night’s drawing. If you choose to play, you have a shot at winning the second largest Mega Millions jackpot ever, $586 million.

Indiana's only Mega Millions jackpot win to date was claimed by a group of five siblings, the Bolke Family, who pooled their money and struck it rich in February 2011 with a $46.5 million winning ticket purchased in Munster.

As many know, if there's a lucky winner they will have two options. They can get the money in a lump sum or get an annual payout.

But, to give you an idea how lucky you have to be, recent changes in the game make the odds of winning the jackpot a 1 in 259 million chance. The odds of winning used to be 1 in 176 million.

That means, you have a better chance of hitting two consecutive holes in one, being attacked by a shark, being struck by lightning or contracting the West Nile Virus than winning the Mega Millions jackpot. But hey, it’s still fun to dream.

“I'd go take a trip somewhere and help out my family and friends. I just got a brand new nephew, so he needs new clothes. He's a preemie, so yeah, definitely be helping out my family,” says BP Cashier Connie Kolodziej. “You get excited all the time when somebody comes in, wants to play a game. If they win, it's very interesting because I always like to give them a little excitement when they come in”.

“I'd probably remodel the home; get a new truck, just a few toys for me. Maybe a snowmobile, maybe a Harley, boy toys,” says one Mega Millions player Randal Wagoner. “Actually, I used to pick them by birth dates and stuff like that, but I've been going with the quick pick. Because birthdates never successfully won anything, so I'm going with quick pick”.

Now, the jackpot could go up depending on how many people buy tickets Tuesday. What is interesting about Hoosier Lottery is that its distributions benefit every county throughout Indiana. Each fiscal year, it contributes about $30 million to local police and firefighter pensions and about $30 million to the teacher's retirement fund.

Tickets must be purchased by 10:44 p.m. Tuesday for the drawing which is at approximately 11 p.m.


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