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Wisconsinites trying out their luck as Mega Millions jackpot increases to $1 billion

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58/AP) — The Mega Millions jackpot has soared to $1 billion, as the second-largest lottery prize in U.S. lottery history gets even bigger. Wisconsinites are trying out their luck, in hopes to get their prize winning Mega Million ticket.

Lottery officials increased the grand prize just hours ahead of the Friday night drawing. The prize climbed from $970 million. Although the jackpot keeps increasing, the odds of winning remain stuck at a miserable one in 302.5 million. But, Wisconsinites think it's a chance they just can't miss out on.

"I like playing when there's a big chance. It's just a dream. Everyone can dream," Ken Pettis said.

The prize has grown so large because no one has hit the jackpot since July 24, when a group in California won $543 million. The $1 billion prize refers to the annuity option. Most winners opt for cash, which for Friday night's drawing would be $565 million.

At Maas Petro Mart in West Allis, they've been busy all day.

"Crazy," Manager Kelly Turcott said. "Very, very crazy. I mean non-stop people buying a 100-something dollars’ worth."

As people in the Milwaukee area grab their Mega Million tickets, they have different dreams of what they would do with the cash.

"I'd quit working, move up north and be a snow bird," Mary Pekula said.

Officials say that if there isn't a winner, the prize for Tuesday night's drawing would be $1.6 billion, tying the largest U.S. lottery prize.

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