Mega Millions becomes Mega Billions, sparking a ticket-buying frenzy across the Tri-State Area
YONKERS, N.Y. -- The next Mega Millions jackpot is so big, they may just have to change the name of the game.
After no one matched all six numbers Tuesday night, the jackpot for Friday's drawing tops the $1 billion mark.
"I'm so nervous about this jackpot. It's unbelievable," Yonkers resident Sheila Baker said.
Baker is on a Mega Millions mission.
"I'm spreading the money all around Yonkers. Hopefully somebody will win. Hopefully I win!" she said.
She talked to CBS2's Tony Aiello on her way to buy tickets from a second retailer after nabbing some at her go-to spot, Lemac Pharmacy, where Patricia Neff marveled when she crossed out "Million" on a jackpot poster and replaced it.
"Really strange! I've never written something like that before. A billion. I mean to cross out 'million' is like, crazy," she said.
It is a crazy big jackpot, which is just what Mega Millions wanted when it changed the rules in 2017. Increasing the number of gold Mega Balls from 15 to 25 increased the odds of winning a jackpot from 1 in 259 million to 1 in 302 million.
Christine Pires, of Lemac Pharmacy, says jackpots this big spark a fun ticket-buying frenzy.
"Everyone's running in and out, 'I need a ticket, I need a ticket!' It's really exciting, yes," she said.
Also exciting a $1 million winner sold at a Staten Island store -- someone matched all five white balls on Tuesday night's drawing, missing only the Mega Ball for an $830 million jackpot.
"Huh. That's tough, that's tough. But you know, something is better than nothing," Staten Island resident Randy Duncan said.
"I hope it's one of my regular customers, good customer who deserves it, who spends a lot of money," Honey Bee Convenience employee Nabeel Masoud said.
There were also two lucky $1 million winners sold in New Jersey. Tickets matching all five white balls pulled Tuesday night were purchased at a 7-Eleven in Tenafly and a Circle K in Point Pleasant.
The rollover means Friday night will see only the fourth $1 billion jackpot in U.S. history.
Mega Millions has gone 29 consecutive drawings without a big winner. The most recent jackpot was claimed way back on April 15.
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