Experts and locals discuss chances of winning as Mega Millions jackpot surpasses $1 billion

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- Friday marks another round of drawing for the Mega Millions, and the $1 billion jackpot has people running over to the closest gas station to try their luck.

After no winners on Tuesday evening’s drawing, the jackpot is now sitting at $1.28 billion, which is the third time in 20 years that the Mega Millions jackpot has surpassed the billion dollar mark.

Now there is one question on everyone's mind: What would you do with $1 billion?

Whether you’re trying your luck by buying a lottery ticket, or simply watching to see who wins, your chances of winning are one in over three hundred million.

To put it into perspective, a probability expert from Indiana University talked about the odds of someone winning the jackpot.

“If everyone in the United States met for the Mega Millions, just considering the jackpot here, then basically one person would win on average,” says Russ Lyons, an expert in probability.

Lyons goes on to say the odds are so slim, you have a better chance at catching the most rare disease in the world.

“Suppose you think about really rare diseases, extremely rare. Difficult to diagnose. But there are some people that get them, typically a rare disease, maybe a hundred, maybe a thousand, maybe ten thousand people in the United States might get it, but still pretty rare. But we’re talking about only one person, so it would be more rare than the most rare disease you’ve ever heard of.”

Since he knows what his chances are, Lyons skips out on the lottery.

“I don’t play the lottery or go to the casinos,” says Lyons.

That’s not stopping folks here in Michiana from trying their luck, and when asked what they would do with one billion dollars, here’s what some locals said.

“I would pay off all of our bills, then I would help everyone of my children, and then some others that are in need of help,” said one woman.

“Well, I would first take care of some family members, take care of the local church we go to, and definitely put a lot of it away,” said another person.

Even with the slim chance of becoming a billionaire, people are anxious about their chances.

The next drawing for the Mega Millions is Friday at 11 p.m.

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