The Mega Millions jackpot hit $586 million Monday morning, putting it within closer range of the all-time record.
The jackpot had been at $550 million earlier in the morning, but was revised upward as more people in the multi-state lottery rushed to buy their tickets.
The cash payout was also revised upward, from $295 million to $316 million.
“The dream of winning is fun … you know, until you don’t match any of the numbers,” Phill Kaplan, 30, of Denver told the Los Angeles Times. “But then again, the chance that you could win is the reason I buy tickets.”
The highest Mega Millions jackpot was $656 million in March 2012, with three winners in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland. The game is played in 43 states, including California, plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The jackpots have grown, but now players pick six numbers from 1 to 75 instead of the previous 1 to 56. The result: greater odds against them. Before the changes, the chance of winning the jackpot was 1 in 176 million. Now it's 1 in 259 million.
But the fantasy of hitting it big is too much for some to resist.
Rosa Quiahua, 18, of Chula Vista said she bought six tickets for Friday’s drawing.
“My intent was to collect as many tickets as I could,” she told The Times. “My view on a lottery is the more entries, or in this case tickets, the better chance you have of winning.”