Mega Millions Mania as Jackpot Hits $540M

After no one wins Tuesday, Friday's drawing hits half a billion -- the largest prize in U.S. history

By Shelley Laurence, Claudia Rivero and Dan Stamm
|  Thursday, Mar 29, 2012  |  Updated 3:12 PM EDT
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The Mega Millions is at a record high of $500 million and people are lining up in hopes of purchasing a winning ticket. Although nobody has won the jackpot yet, a few people have walked away with some money. NBC10's Deanna Durant shares the story.

NBCPhiladelphia.com - Deanna Durante

The Mega Millions is at a record high of $500 million and people are lining up in hopes of purchasing a winning ticket. Although nobody has won the jackpot yet, a few people have walked away with some money. NBC10's Deanna Durant shares the story.

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Mega Millions Mania

Customers lined up all day long at stores selling Mega Millions tickets. And they?re all hoping to cash in on the $363 million jackpot. And some went to a popular store in Gloucester County, New Jersey that?s seen its fair share of winners. From taking care of their entire family to going on vacation?everyone seems to have dreamed up what they will do if they win.
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Would-be millionaires lined up across the region Tuesday, in hopes of winning a Mega Millions jackpot worth $363 million.

Well, all those folks better get back in line because after no one won the jackpot the Mega Millions purse hit a record $540 million for Friday night's drawing.

If a single person wins they would get $19.2 million annually or a lump sum jackpot of $389 million.

The record jackpot is the result of 18-straight drawings without a winner since a Georgia man won in late January.

"This is an historical event in lottery history," says Carole Hedinger, Executive Director of the New Jersey Lottery. "The excitement from this game is being felt around the country and certainly here in New Jersey..."

In South Jersey, Yogi’s Quick Shop has been busy. The store has seen its share of winners in the past.

"September, 2011 we sold $200,000 for a Powerball.  And we just sold, last Wednesday, $162,000 for Cash 5," Janki Darji told NBC10. There have been other winners at Yogi's as well.

The odds of winning are more than 1 in 175 million but htat doesn't mean people can't dream.

Of course the question for all the jackpot dreamers is, "what would you do with all that cash?"

Katherine Rosario of Woodbury, N.J. says "Take care of my whole entire family, of course, father, nieces, nephews, my son and myself."

Kim Matthews of Williamstown has a different take. She says she’d “go to Disney.”

Here are the winning numbers from Tuesday's jackpot: 9-19-34-44-51 and the Powerball of 24. Two tickets were sold in New Jersey and two others were sold in Pennsylvania that matched five numbers but failed to match the Powerball.

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