Mega Millions players line up for shot at $400 million

CLEVELAND -- It's one of the hottest tickets in town: A Mega Millions lottery ticket.

Tuesday's jackpot stands at a whopping $400 million, and people lined up to get their hands on a ticket, dreaming of winning all the cash.

The Smith and Snow Shell station in Parma is considered one of the luckiest places to play the lottery. In fact, the station sells more money worth of lottery tickets than gas. It also boasts a winner's wall full of $500 tickets, but given that it's the day after St. Patrick's Day, people were hoping luck was really on their side this time.

"I always feel lucky, but it never comes around. But you know, they say there's always a first time, right?" Arthur Pordash said.

He bought 10 Mega Millions tickets just to increase his odds a little, which stand at about 1 in 259 million.

"It's worse than getting hit by lightning, I'm pretty sure. So, I'm hoping, cross my fingers," Jim Pencak said.

He'll need to cross them tight. The odds of getting struck by lightning in a person's lifetime are about 1 in 3,000. But as many clerks reminded lines of customers, all it takes is one shot at the lottery. So why not take a shot at the sixth largest lottery prize in U.S. history?

"I'll take a shot at luck. You never know when it's your time," Jason Wargo said.

Audrey's was once known as the lucky store to buy that golden ticket, but it hasn't happened there in a while. The owner said things have been a little slow for this Mega Millions in comparison to other jackpots. But count on "Lucky Dan" -- he plays there every week.

"All it takes is $1, that's it. I'm retired, I'm happy, I'm ready to go out on vacation, meet a wife, that's it," Dan Chmielewski said.

The winner who matches all six numbers has the option of taking a $224 million lump sum prize, and that means plenty to go around.

"First I'd take care of my family, my church, and then people I know that needs it, and I think that's what everyone should do," Pordash said.

If no one matches all six numbers tonight, it rolls over to the Friday drawing, and that grand prize will likely climb to at least $500 million.


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