Lines formed outside Rosie's Den in White Hills Wednesday afternoon
The restaurant at The Last Stop is typically filled with tourists and lottery players
When it comes to a $500 million jackpot, many lottery players develop strategies for picking the winning numbers. Some are inspired by birthdays and ages, while other Nevadans are inspired by dreams and fate.
With a half billion dollars on the line, there's no holding back. You will find plenty of Mega Millions selection sheets spread across tables and tucked away in pockets.
Henderson resident John Wilson spent his time carefully selecting numbers for about 100 tickets.
"We had our kids pick the numbers," he said. "We feel they're probably luckier than us, so we let them do it."
At Rosie's Den in White Hills, AZ, players talked about their number selection process.
The obvious one? Birthdays.
"My mom's birthday... my dad's age… my football number… my brother's age," recited Troy Cummings.
But for others, it's a foreign idea.
"I guess I'll have to sit down and figure something out that I feel is lucky, because I never thought of it," said Joann Wade.
And some just leave the guesswork up to fate.
"I had a dream that I hit all of the numbers except for one, and I looked to see what it spelled in the alphabet and it spelled out a word, but I won't say what the word is," said Dawn Cachero.
Some of the ideas are certainly cryptic, but at the Last Stop in Arizona, the proprietor tells us one man even comes in twice a week, lays down $300 and picks his numbers over the course of four hours.
"They'll pick out 10 different cards and try to strategize and hit those numbers they never hit before or never seen hit before," Russ Mann explained as he tried to recall the wildest picks.
But no matter the strategy, all you need is one ticket.
"All you need is one... the winner, which is right here in my purse," Wade proclaimed.
Some other strategies we heard include picking numbers that haven't been selected in a while, and another player only picks numbers that contain a "nine." It's an homage to the favorite number of Las Vegas resident Sonia Dowless' mother.
Still, more often than not, players go for the "quick picks," where the lottery computer randomly selects a series of numbers.
The estimated $500 million jackpot is the largest in history. The last record jackpot for Mega Millions was $390 million, set five years ago.
Copyright 2012 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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