It's the ultimate fantasy: Walk into a store, plunk down a dollar and with nothing but extraordinary luck — you win a giant lottery.
The odds of that happening are astronomical. But tell that to the optimists and dreamers who lined up at gas stations, mini-marts and drug stores Monday for the last-minute Mega Millions ticket-buying frenzy.
The $586 million prize — fourth-largest in U.S. history — could grow by Tuesday night's drawing.
Experts say what drives people to play is the same thing that drives people to gamble: the fantasy of quickly improving your life amid financial anxieties and uncertainty.
The huge Mega Millions prize stems from a major game revamp in October that dramatically reduced the odds of winning.
©2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.