Why do lottery players think they can defy odds?

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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 Mega Millions drawing is 636 million and growing with last minute ticket sales.

 

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.

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