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Powerball brings prayers, dreams, lucky charms and crossed fingers

Powerball brings prayers, dreams, lucky charms and crossed fingers
Zaida Cobangbang, of Union City, Calif., shows her Powerball tickets shortly after buying them Saturday in San Lorenzo, Calif. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

With just hours left to play the biggest lottery jackpot in U.S. history, Southern Californians were flocking to stores Saturday to buy tickets and dream a bit about a different life.

The Powerball jackpot now stands at $900 million -- and it could increase before tonight's drawing.

Of course, many are chronicling their Powerball adventures on social media. Here's some examples:

 










To win, a participant must match five numbers between 1 and 69 and a sixth number between 1 and 26 drawn separately. The odds of this happening are 1 in 292.2 million. Many underestimate just how small the probability of winning is because 292.2 million is so large that it's “almost impossible” for people to wrap their heads around, said Ron Wasserstein, executive director of the American Statistical Assn. Lottery officials probably expected bigger jackpots and, in turn, bigger sales when they implemented new game rules last year that changed the odds from 1 in 175 million, he said.

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