Mega Millions Jackpot hits $667 million

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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - It's been almost three months since the last Mega Millions Jackpot winner, and now the prize us up to approximately $667 million, which is the highest in Mega Millions history, and the third largest in U.S. lottery history.

The payout can be taken in annual payments or one lump some, that is a little less money.

Nebraskans have been pressing their luck, hoping to win the big prize, and buying lottery tickets at places like the Time Saver on S Dewey St.

"We're hoping for good luck at the store here. We saw a lot of people, and a lot of sales like crazy. Everybody's hoping, and it only takes one to win, so we're having our fingers crossed," said Floyd Helvie, the assistant manager at Time Saver.

The odds of winning the jackpot are approximately one in 302 million. To put that in context here are a few things more likely to happen (odds are approximate):

Odds of a Division III football player playing in the NFL: 1 in 1,312
Odds of giving birth to triplets: 1 in 9,000
Odds of being dealt a royal flush in poker: 1 in 649,739
Odds of dying from a mountain lion attack: 1 in 35 million
Odds of being diagnosed with the plague: 1 in 46.5 million
Odds of being crushed to death by a vending machine: 1 in 149 million

Still, residents are hopeful their numbers get called.

"I would actually split it with my coworkers, they worked hard, they deserve it. I would probably give some of it to charity. Then, after that, probably start a foundation for my family and my wife's family. That way, everybody won't have to struggle so much," Helvie said.

Ernie Fiesta, a North Platte resident since the 1970's, said, "I could move back to Hawaii, buy a house, boat and fish all day, and help my family out."

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