Paul Sakuma, Associated Press
A customer collects lottery tickets that were purchased at a liquor store in Mountain View, Calif., Thursday, March 29, 2012, in hopes to win the Mega Millions lottery. The Mega Millions jackpot is now the largest in U.S. lottery history.

MALAD, Idaho - Thousands of people flocked to a small Idaho town Thursday with big dreams -- half a billion dollars kind of big.

Friday night, the drawing for the largest lottery jackpot in American history will take place - $540 million is at stake. The Mega-Millions lottery lured quite a few hopeful Utahns to towns along the border, where they waited in long lines for a shot at the fortune.

Ogden resident Paul Warren said though he knows the odds of winning are slim, "if you don't play, you can't win."

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