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Two Jackpots Worth Nearly $1.2 Billion Have Bay Area In Grips Of Lottery Fever

ALBANY (CBS SF) -- The Bay Area found itself in the grips of lottery fever Tuesday with more than a billion dollars up for grabs in separate games over the next two nights.

They are the largest lottery jackpots in years: Powerball has hit $550 million, while the Mega Millions prize tops out at a whopping $625 million. They are not the biggest in history, but the total prize money of nearly $1.2 billion has some people who don't generally play line up to buy tickets.

Michael Lyles is not one of those people. He buys lottery tickets every day.

"I play Mega Millions, Super Lotto, Fantasy 5 and Powerball. The most I ever won was $19," said Lyles.

The odds of winning either of the big payoffs is pretty astronomical. The chance of hitting Tuesday night's Mega Millions jackpot is 302,575,350 to 1, while the chance of winning the Powerball Thursday is 292,201,338 to 1.

The odds of a person getting hit by lighting is 500,000 to one, so you are much more likely to be struck by lighting than win either jackpot.

But, as avid lottery player Lyles says, "If you don't play, you won't win! Yes sir! That's the truth!"

Dreams are priceless and a lot of people were stopping by Happy Donuts in Albany to purchase tickets, hoping to make those sweet dreams come true.

"It is exciting. Yes, a little bit of a headache, but that's OK, because I've got donut and lottery sales to deal with," said Happy Donuts manager Silvia Sar.

Lottery tickets were being bought nonstop. Stephanie Sneed has her winning moment all planned out.

"Once you pass out and come back to, you know what I'm sayin'?" Sneed laughed. "You know and praise Holy God and after you say all that, then go get a lawyer!"

Last week, a Mega Millions lottery ticket was purchased at a gas station in Brentwood that was worth more than $2.3 million, California Lottery officials said.

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