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$22,000 worth of hope as 90 friends pool money for Mega Millions tickets

TAMPA — Ryan McGuinness is pooling money from nearly 90 friends to boost their chances of winning Tuesday night's record $1.6 million Mega Millions jackpot drawing.

His afternoon buy of 11,000 $2 tickets at the Metro Market in Ybor City was their fourth since the pot hit $500 million.

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So far, the group has spent $52,000 on tickets and rolled over $1,224 in winnings.

They're all still friends after pooling their money two years ago in a losing Powerball cause.

"Obviously, the money diminished down to zero, but it was entertaining," said McGuinness, 35, who works with an Ybor City real estate firm. "Everybody is back in."

He has his fingers crossed that they'll be in the news again — when the winning ticket is announced.