SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The clock is ticking on the Mega Millions jackpot, the biggest in history at $1.6 billion. Just hours away from the historic mega millions drawing, Lichine’s in South Land Park drew a nonstop stream of lottery hopefuls.
With that big of a jackpot up for grabs, what’s the odds of winning? One in 302 million. But that’s not stopping people in line at Lichine’s from dreaming.
“I’m moving from the Pacific earth,” one woman said. “I’m gonna buy a home for my children,” another said. “I’ll take care of everybody,” said one man in line.
Retired Sacramento City College Professor Debbie Van Sickle debunked the belief that a secret combination of numbers will increase your chance of winning.
“Every one of these numbers has an equal chance of being the six numbers,” Van Sickle said.
Van Sickle did the math and if you wanted to buy one ticket of every combination, it would cost you $605 million, which is still less than the jackpot. But she says that its likely that whoever wins will have to share the pot.
But Van Sickle says you don’t need a mathematician to give you the bottom line, “your odds of getting into a car accident on your way to buy your ticket are higher.”
If there are no winners in Tuesday’s drawing, the jackpot could soar to $2 billion. CBS13 also learned that the chances of winning or losing do not depend on when you bought the ticket.
Office pools are also a popular way to play. Experts say sharing lottery dreams and cash with coworkers increases your chances of winning, but they also warn it could be risky. The best was to enter an office pool is documenting everything including who’s in and who gets what if you win.
Tickets can be bought until 7:45 p.m. Tuesday before the drawing at 8 p.m.
If you believe you or a loved one have a gambling problem, there are resources available to help. The Sacramento gambler’s hotline number for Gamblers Anonymous is 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542).
The Office of Problem Gambling has a list of resources available on their website. You can also call 1-800-GAMBLER or text SUPPORT to 53342.
Additionally, Gamblers Anonymous is hosting a closed meeting on Tuesday from 7:15 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the Wyndham Building on Bruceville Road. You can also visit their website.