Despite the Odds, Powerball Fever Grows in Chicago

The record $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot has players hedging their bets even though experts say odds are against you.

"You spent $200 to buy 100 tickets, the chances of winning in that case are less than the chances of being killed by fireworks," said Dr. Shlomo Argamon of the Illinois Institute of Technology.

But Illinois lottery officials indicate we may be getting closer to a winner.

"Eighty five percent of the combinations possible have been purchased already however there is no possible way that 100 percent of combinations can be purchased," said Stephen Rossi of the Illinois Lottery.

Although the odds are against you, Argamon offered a tip.

"Try to pick numbers that other people are not going to pick. A lot of people use dates, so if you choose numbers larger than 31 that are not part of a date people are less likely to choose those numbers," Argamon said.

He added that a winner in Illinois would actually take home is more like $540 million instead of 1.5 billion because of taxes. But these players aren't being greedy.

"I don't mind sharing. I'll share with him. You got that on camera? Laughs that's legally binding," player Teresa Craig said.

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