Blame it on holiday cheer, New Year's optimism, or too much eggnog. No matter how unlikely the odds, hope springs eternal at gas stations and stores across the tri-state region today as scores of people line up to buy Mega Millions lottery tickets.

Managers will double the amount of workers they have scheduled for tonight's rush-hour shift, and they will brace themselves for long lines of people hoping that maybe -- just maybe -- a dollar can turn into hundreds of millions by the end of the day.

As the Mega Millions jackpot grows, more people buy tickets. The jackpot is already one of the largest in U.S. history. The next drawing is tonight.

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