Despite long odds, people are still playing the lottery for chance at big payout

More than $500 million is on the table for Jan. 8's Mega Millions drawing, and $470 million is on the line for Jan. 9's Powerball drawing.

It is known that the chances of winning a lottery are very slim. In fact, the chances are more than 1 in 300 million for winning the jackpot.

To put it in perspective, a person is 600 times more likely to get struck by lightning in a single storm than to win the lottery.

Those long odds, however, are not stopping people from buying a lottery ticket.

"The fun is really in the dreaming, and with jackpots this big, a lot of people do a lot of dreaming, and we are in the business of making people come true," said John Gilliland with the Arizona Lottery.

Gilliland says there are some smaller draws with some better odds.

"You’ve got a 1 in 12 million chance of winning a million-dollar prize, and 1 in 24 or 25 chance of winning some kind of prize," said Gilliland.

With big jackpots, Gilliland says more and more people are turning up to buy their tickets in search of that dream.

"As jackpots get bigger, more people play the game, and that’s really the exciting part about Mega Millions and Powerball, that they do get so big, and these people do dream."