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Mega Millions reaches third-largest jackpot in game history

The third largest jackpot in Mega Millions history will be drawn Tuesday night, and one lucky winner could take home the jackpot.

LUZERNE COUNTY, Pa. — You can't win if you don't play, and when it comes to playing, some lottery hopefuls have a plan, and they stick to it.

Whenever Tawni Johnson of Pittston plays the lottery, she buys her tickets here at Friendly Food Mart in West Pittston. 

"I found $3 in a pair of jeans, put it away, put it away, still didn't win, and I said, yeah, I gotta go play," said Tawni Johnson, Pittston.

"I used to have a strategy. I would play birthdays different occasions. One time I had a strategy, but they don't work for me," said Jim McManus, Forty Fort.

Now Jim McManus leaves it up to chance. And with $830 million on the line, the odds of winning are quite slim, but that doesn't stop people from buying a ticket, or two, or more.

"People are buying like crazy. The people who never buy lottery, they're buying like 10 tickets every time, it's too much," said Neeta Solanki, Friendly Food Mart.

Neeta Solanki is a cashier at a friendly food mart. She says a large jackpot is good for business, with customers often buying more than just tickets.

"So it helps us with selling other stuff too. Business is increasing like 10 percent," said Solanki.

And if one of her customers wins, the store will receive a bonus, also good news.

"I hope someone does, from my store, I would love to see that," said Solanki.

For this jackpot, she too is buying a ticket, two dollars that could change a life, generations even, with just six numbers.

There are many ways to play but only one jackpot.

UPDATE: No one matched Tuesday night's winning numbers. So, Friday's jackpot sits at $1.02 billion.

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