The countdown for the historic $640 Million jackpot of the Mega Millions lottery on Friday is nearly over, with just minutes left until the winning numbers are revealed.
The big prize has captivated the nation, driving people into a ticket-buying frenzy. Even those who normally do not play lottery games have been purchasing tickets by the dozen.
Friday night's Mega Millions drawing will truly be a spectacular event in lottery history and provides an unprecedented opportunity for players to take a chance on a half-billion-dollar dream for just the $1 price of a ticket, Gary Grief, executive director of the Texas Lottery and lead director of the Mega Millions group, told CNN.
If there is no winner, then the new jackpot is estimated to be worth about $900 million, which would be the largest ever offered in the game's history.
The drawing will be held Friday at 11 p.m. EDT, and it can be live-streamed here:
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If there is a winner, it could take hours for lottery officials to determine which states they are in. Tickets can be purchased by the public until 10:40 p.m EDT on Friday in most states, excluding Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, where tickets can be purchased only until 9:50 p.m. EDT. Oregon residents can buy tickets until 7 p.m. PDT, according to CNN.
Tips And Tricks
Richard Lustig's name has resurfaced since the new jackpot's size was revealed. He is a seven-time lottery winner, who openly shares his strategy, which he calls the winning lottery method.
[Playing the lotto is] like any investment. You have to invest money to get something out of it, Lustig told ABC News. In his book Learn How to Increase Your Chances of Winning the Lottery, Lustig shares some useful tips.
Most people buy a $1 ticket and win $10, and they put the $10 in their pocket, said Lustig. Those people are playing the game wrong. Instead, he said, if you win $10, then you should buy $11 worth of tickets because if you lose, you only lost $1.
Using this method, Lustig earned $98,000, ABC reported. It was also the method that won him $842,000 in 2002, and other people who use his method have also reported large wins, including a woman from Tampa, Fla., who recently won $2 million.
Lustig urged lottery players not to play quick picks or auto play. Choosing your own numbers increases your chances of winning, according to Lustig.
For scratchers, Lustig said people should buy 10 of one ticket type instead of different tickets. From his experience, he has found that there is at least one winning ticket in a string of 10.
The lottery guru also urged people to not throw away losing tickets. The cost of the tickets can be written off against the tax of a jackpot, according to Lustig.
Lustig said playing the lottery is much like having a full-time job. Many of his winnings have paid for his medical bills, he revealed in an interview with ABC.
I don't guarantee or make promises to anybody that by following my method you're going to win the lottery, Lustig told ABC News. I'm not a scam artist. I'm telling people exactly the truth -- that they will definitely increase their chances of winning using his lottery method.