HAWTHORNE (CBS) — The odds are against you, but someone could strike it rich Friday night by matching all six numbers in the Mega Millions lottery.

The Mega Millions jackpot is up to a whopping $290 million. The pot is the eighth largest in history of the game.

No tickets with all six numbers have been sold since the Jan. 24 drawing, 16 drawings ago.

Tickets will be sold until 7:45 p.m for Friday’s draw, which will be held just before 8 p.m.

The odds of matching all five numbers and the Mega number is 1 in 175,711,536, according to the Mega Millions website. The overall chance of winning a prize is 1 in 40.

Buying tickets at a store where winning tickets have been sold in the past will not increase a purchaser’s chance of winning a jackpot, according to USC mathematics professor Ken Alexander.

“The chance that a given place will sell a winning lottery ticket is just related to how many tickets they sell,” Alexander said.

But that hasn’t deterred people from lining up at Hawthorne’s Blue Bird Liquors. The lucky store has sold more than $20 million worth of winning lotto tickets.

Players wanting a better chance of avoiding sharing the jackpot should choose numbers that aren’t selected as often, Alexander said.

Lottery players frequently choose the date of their birthdays as one of their numbers, so numbers higher than 31 would be played less, he said.

The lottery is played in 42 states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (7)
  1. Kaylah says:

    If I won the $290 Million Jackpot…I would donate $100 Million to the school system because the government doesn’t seem to live up to their word about getting more funds to schools. Then I would also donate some of the money to the military since the Government is also taking away from the Military too. With the other $100 Million I would help my immediate family pay off any and all bills. Build my mom a nice house and spoil my soon to be husband cause he cares about me and spoils me so much!!

    1. Sebastian says:

      The odds of a lotto winner giving away $100 million of their winning money to the government is almost equal to winning the lotto.

      I personnally know a friend whom I knew since childhood who won the lotto. He shared with me that everyone has a very charitable heart until they ACTUALLY win.

      My mega millionaire friend is now very reclusive because everybody wants a piece of his money. Everyone of his relatives, friends and total strangers are knocking on his door asking for money.

      I never asked anything from him because I know I will loose him as a friend. I gave simple gifts to his children during Christmas. I was surprised to find out that their family only invited two visitors during Christmas–me and another lady whom they trust. They live in a $2 million dollar mansion with many empty rooms. My friend drives a 1999 car because he does not want people to know he is rich. He stays in motel 6 when he travels. He does not give a lot to charity because they are hounding him constantly like hungry wolves.

      You are not alone that is voicing their ultra generous offers of charity…..until you ACTUALLY win.

      Yes, you will swear you won’t change…..until you ACTUALLY win.

  2. Villaraigosa is a rat says:

    If I won the Lottery, I would pay to have an Olympic sized pool filled with cocaine and have some of the best looking women with no teeth jump in with me.

  3. Tod says:

    If I win I will pay illegals to go back to Mexico.

  4. Bubba Rae Dudley says:

    If I won I would buy a couple tanks of gas.

  5. come and see says:

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