AUSTIN (KXAN) - Winning numbers for the drawing on Friday, March 31, 2012: 46-23-38-4-2-23
It's $24.6 million a year for 26 years. Or more than twice what Oprah made last year. Or more than enough cash to buy a Major League Baseball team.
Not matter how you count it, the record-smashing $640 million Mega Millions jackpot up for grabs in Friday 10 p.m. drawing is a lot of lot money. And a lot of Texans are scrambling for their shot at winning it.
"I got it. I got the winner," dreamed Hoby Hastings, who purchased his Mega Millions ticket on Friday at Zip'N, the busiest lottery retailer in the area. "I would even bother buying one if I were you. The first thing I intend to buy is a new car."
Frank Logan, another customer at the store on Shoal Creek Boulevard near Anderson Road, insisted that the stars were aligned in his favor, no matter the staggering odds 176 million to 1 odds against winning.
"I'm feeling very lucky today," he said. "I chose my numbers using birthdays and anniversaries."
Logan and Hastings were among the Texas ticket-buyers who plunked down more than $22 million by 6 p.m. Friday to play the multi-state lottery game that has caused a coast-to-coast frenzy because of the eye-crossing jackpot number. Sales in Texas on Thursday total more than $10 million.
The scene at the ZIp'N was played out at countless convenience stores in countless American towns. The Associated Press reported that an Arizona retailer sold $2,600 worth of tickets to a single customer as sales nationwide for the jackpot were expected to extent to a bout $1.5 billion.
But even as Mega Millions mania fueled fantasies of instant opulence, on Austin lawyer urged would-be players -- especially those who join in ticket-buying pools with friends and co-workers -- to keep in mind some sobering realities.
"This business of office pools has been rife for problems for years," said Randy Howry, who has a specialized practice in this area. "There are certain safeguards you need to implement."
- One person buys all the tickets
- All the tickets and the agreement among the players should be copied and everyone gets a copy.
- The originals should be kept in a secure place.
Howry's office pool had some 18 participants on Friday.
Virginia Morris, who also was buying a ticket at Zip'N, said her plan is to keep it practical.
"The first thing I'll do with my winnings, pay off some bills and buy a house."
Surveys suggest Morris is like most folks. The general consensus is that would-be winners say they'd donate a part to charities, go on vacation or buy a car.
If an Austin-area winner felt like splurging, he or she could buy the most expensive house in Central Texas. It would cost you $15 million for a 15,000-square-foot mansion that sits on 16 acres in Leander with breathtaking panoramic views of Lake Travis.
And if no one wins this drawing, the jackpot for Tuesday will be an estimated $975 million. And if sales are more brisk than expected, it could even reach $1 billion.
KXAN's Hanah Yang contributed to this report.
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