Half a billion up for grabs

Yes, it’s true. Your odds of getting hit by lightning, eaten by an alligator, or stumbling upon an intelligent comment on SFGate are all greater than your chance of winning this weekend’s $500 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot.

But that won’t stop lots of us from trying.

The astronomical chance of utter failure will play itself out for all but perhaps a chosen one. Or a chosen few, as has happened.

Popular lottery outlets, already inundated once this week by jackpot-crazed dreamers, will rinse and repeat leading up to Friday’s drawing.

Minh Nguyen, the manager of San Jose’s Dolce Espresso — the No. 28 seller of lottery tickets in the state — told the Merc:

“Saturday and Sunday were really busy. This Friday will be a lot of people. On Friday, they will hit all the stores.”

One in 176,000,000 are the official odds for matching all six numbers on Friday. Lottery officials say ticket sales may drive the jackpot beyond the $500 million mark, perhaps as high as $550 million.

Mega Millions is a multi-state lotto game played in dozens of states. Hopeful millionaires pick five numbers from 1 to 56, and a “Mega” number from 1 to 46. So, just for the heck of it:

4 6 17 29 37 44

Royalties gladly accepted.