Mega Millions: Lines form across the Triangle for shot at $1 billion prize

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People lined up at a Knightdale store and across the state and nation for a shot at $1 billion.

People lined up all across the Triangle, the state and the country on Friday, all in hopes of snagging that golden ticket.

With the Mega Millions jackpot at a record $1 billion, people were dreaming big. We spoke to a few at a store in Knightdale.

"That's a magnet right there. Anything with a "b" in front of it is a magnet," said Van Mebane, while discussing the historic pay-out.

And if they win?

"I will pay off my parents' debt, and buy my daddy a new truck," Kim Hight said.

"I'm going to split it between my sister, and give some to the church and go buy me a Jag," said Ann France of her potential winnings.

France said she did quick picks.

"I let the machine pick it. I figured their numbers are just as good as mine. Because every time I pick it, I never get anything. And the other day I did win something. So I did let the machine pick it for me," France explained.

Lottery officials have some advice should you strike it rich.

"We recommend that you talk to financial advisers, consult a legal expert. Just make sure you have your ducks in a row before you claim," said Kathleen Jacob with the NC Lottery.

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Mega Millions fever hits the Triangle

HOW TO WIN THE LOTTERY: BUSTING MYTHS

Let's be real, the odds of winning the lottery are not good. In fact, a recent calculation places them at 1 in 302,000,000.

Many people claim to have secret strategies to improve their odds, but do these strategies really work? Our sister station KGO-TV in San Francisco sat down with Berkeley City College statistics professor Dr. Mike Orkin to get the mathematical truth:

Myth 1: There are LUCKY stores

Reality: Not really

"It is pure chance, so it doesn't matter what store you buy your tickets from, or where you buy your tickets, your chances are always the same. Interestingly enough, randomness has, creates patterns. And so just by chance, there will be some stores that sell more winning tickets than other stores."

Myth 2: There are HOT numbers

Reality: Kinda, sorta, not really

"Some people bet on the most frequently drawn numbers because those numbers are hot, some people bet on numbers that haven't come up for a while because those numbers are due. But in a game of pure chance, it doesn't make any difference. "

Myth 3: Your odds are better (over the long run) if you always play the most frequently-drawn numbers

Reality: No... and it could cost you!

"If you always play the most frequently drawn numbers, it does not change your chance of winning. But if you do win, there's more chance you'll have to split the pot with somebody."

Myth 4: The size of the jackpot and the number of players can affect your odds

Reality: No... but it's a better time to play

"Your chances of winning always stay the same, but you could win more money as the jackpot grows, so gambling-wise, it becomes a better bet."

Myth 5: There is no way to increase your odds

Reality: FALSE! There is one and only one way to increase your odds

"So there's no strategy that'll increase your odds of winning other than to buy more tickets."
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