"It's some version of ''What's the harm? I wouldn't want to be the idiot who didn't play the Mega Millions. What if I was the winner?'" Risen says. "It's a better safe-than-sorry philosophy: 'I'd better buy a lottery ticket just in case I was going to the winner.'"
Kathy Malzewski, a 67-year-old retiree from Milwaukee, never buys Mega Million tickets. But while she was in a grocery store Monday, buying scratch-off tickets as stocking stuffers, she decided on a whim to buy a single ticket because of the enormous jackpot.
What would she do if she won?
"I'd go into a nice retirement community myself, but I'd be generous," she said softly. "I'd help Habitat for Humanity, help the homeless, give a lot to charity."