Updated: Wednesday, 28 Nov 2012, 10:51 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 28 Nov 2012, 7:09 PM EST
HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- Two dollars, a chance to win half a billion dollars. Across Connecticut they're lining up to play powerball and nationwide today, tickets were selling at a rate of 130-thousand a minute.
"I have never done anything like this before, I don't expect anything from it," Sean Dennis Cashman of North Haven said.
It's such a big payout so everyone's giving it a try.
"I normally don't play but when my husband told me the amount that it was today, I came out before dinner to get the tickets," Jeanine Morgillo of Hamden said.
And what would they do with the winnings?
"Well, I'd help my family down in Breezy Point rebuild after the storm and we'd celebrate big," Morgillo said laughing.
"Pay off all my loans, probably the first thing," Tracy King of Hamden said.
Her daughter has other plans.
"I'll get all the stuff I want and then, oh, maybe give some to charity," Casiana King said.
But of course, the odds of winning are very, very...very...small.
"Of winning the big jackpot, about 175-million to one, little bit more than that," Cornelius Nelan said.
Cornelius Nelan is a Mathematics Professor at Quinnipiac University. He says he tells his students they should never gamble or play the lottery, they're just too unlikely to win. But isn't there anyway to up the odds?
"No, not really. I mean, there is no winning strategy," Nelan said. "Every single number even one, two, three, four, five that you would never buy, just as much chance as any other number coming up."
His one piece of advice, choose a powerball number that's the same as one of the previous five numbers. Nelan says it's just as likely to hit but you probably won't have to split the winnings because not many people would choose it that way.
And for the record, Nelan is buying a powerball ticket, just one, just for fun.
"Because someone will win it, right," News 8's Annie Rourke asked.
"Yeah, that'd be a great Christmas this year if you win, super," Tracy King said.