Mega Millions Jackpot Fuels Dreams, Ticket Sales

A customer purchases Mega Millions lottery tickets. From the CBS Evening News, Jan. 4, 2011.
Updated at 11:58 p.m. ET

The winning numbers for the $335 million jackpot are 4, 8, 15, 25, 47 and the mega number is 42. The odds against winning are big but the dreams of potential winners are bigger.

CBS News correspondent John Blackstone reports at lottery counters across much of the country Tuesday business is brisk with sales peaking at $240,000 worth of tickets a minute. The dreams are flowing just as quickly.

Mega Millions says they increased the jackpot to $355 million earlier Tuesday based on strong ticket sales.

"Well, you know, maybe get a candy apple red Lamborghini or something like that," says Jorge Leive.

"Retire!" says Yvette O'Guinn. "Retire!"

The Mega Millions lottery played in 41 states and Washington, D.C., has been growing and growing since early November.

"I'm going to quit my job," says Andre Kelley with a laugh, adding, "With two weeks notice."

The odds against winning are as long as ever, almost 176 million to one. But still there are winners.

In 2007 Cynthia Stafford of Los Angeles won a $112 million jackpot.

"That was the most surreal and exciting moment of my life," she says.

She went from struggling to get by to starting her own film production company. Now she mixes with the stars and donates to charity.

"I'm still the same person," she says. "I just have more resources to do the things that I want to do."

Christopher Shaw won $258 million in 2010. "At first you hope you're not going to die of a heart attack," said Shaw.

Financial consultant Don McNay says, "My advice is to keep it quiet so I don't want you going to the news if you have a happy story."

There are unhappy stories. Abraham Shakespeare won a $30 million jackpot in Florida but was murdered in 2009. His financial adviser has been charged in the killing.

Still, the lure of the life changing jackpot is strong.

"I might run out and at least put a dollar on a ticket and cross my fingers," says Stafford with a laugh.