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$640 million up for grabs has folks grabbing tons of tickets

READ MORE: Mega Millions Jackpot now $640 million; Largest in US history
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- It's the largest lottery jackpot in the history of the world. $640 million are up for grabs, and there a lot of folks trying to pick the lucky numbers.

The odds of winning are one in about 176 million. That means you're more likely to become a professional athlete or astronaut or get struck by lighting 500 times. But that's not keeping folks from trying.

"I'm trying to change my life and the lives of some people I know as well,” Jerry Wilson said.

"Pay my tithes first of all, and then I got three babies and a young wife,” said another excited customer.

"Probably catch up all my bills and go on a great vacation,” yet another person chimed in.

"Lots of people I can help. I'll pay bills off, and there are lots of churches that could use some donations,” Leroy Grady said.

Grady is one of the hundreds of millions of people across the country trying to win the Mega Millions. He says he never plays the lottery but is willing to lose a buck for a chance at the jackpot.

"This is the largest jackpot for any game in the world, so it is huge,” NC Education Lottery Executive Director Alice Garland said. “It has produced greater than $8 million dollars for education in North Carolina."

Gas station manager Ash Tilahun is hoping to strike it big. He says he would not work if he won, but if he is not the lucky one, he at least hopes the winning ticket comes from his store.

"That's going to be big. If that happens, everybody will think this is the place to play the lottery,” Tilahun said. “That would be very, very big."

It's bigger than big... It's an amount of money most of us can't even comprehend.

"I can't even fathom,” Wilson said. “My mind can't even pull it all in, but I'd love to try."

If the winner chooses to take a lump sum, he or she will still get a cool $324 million after all the taxes are taken out.

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