The Lucky Thirteen

A record Powerball jackpot sparks interstate lottery obsession and produces a group of odds-be-damned winners

As the jackpot for Powerball, the obsession-inducing multistate lottery, climbed past $250 million last week, few could resist the urge to make all those dollars seem less abstract. What could a quarter billion dollars actually get you? TV and radio news spots gave us a hint: the Chicago Bulls! Breakfast, lunch and dinner at McDonald's for the next 3,500 years! Half as much money as Michael Eisner earned in 1997! We also learned that the odds of winning the grand prize are equal to the odds of getting struck by lightning on 14 occasions in a single year and 40 times...

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