UPDATE: Americans spend nearly $1.5B to win record jackpot

A customer smiles after receiving a free Mega Millions Lottery ticket from the Hoosier Lottery's Mega Millions mascot at a store in Zionsville, Ind., Friday. The Mega Millions Lottery jackpot has reached more than $600 million.

The higher the Mega Millions jackpot goes, the more people spend on lottery tickets. Americans have spent nearly $1.5 billion on a less than 1 percent chance to win the $640 million jackpot.

UPDATE: Mega-mania as jackpot increases to $640 million

The $640 million jackpot, if taken as a $462 million lump sum and after federal tax withholding, works out to about $347 million.

Missouri's Frank Haith is AP Coach of the Year

Frank Haith became the second Missouri basketball coach chosen as The Associated Press' Coach of the Year. Haith took over the Missouri program this season after seven years at Miami.

Muller's slam fuels Missouri softball team's win over Baylor

Junior Lindsey Muller hit a two-out grand slam in the fifth inning to help the Tigers beat the Bears 6-1 on Friday at University Field.

Democratic County Convention draws small but lively crowd

Boone County Democrats assembled Thursday to determine a 27-member delegation that will progress to congressional district and state conventions in the coming months. Although turnout was low, those who attended displayed no less enthusiasm about the process.

DEAR READER: So much campaign coverage, so few readers or voters

In the Missourian's attempt to cover of candidates running for open seats on the City Council and School Board the reporting has been balanced and measured. The fairly exhaustive review of the people we’ll choose on Tuesday to lead the schools and the city assumes a baseline level of interest in the civic life of our community.

Missouri baseball falls to No. 6 Texas A&M

The Tigers tied the game at 6 in the top of the eighth, but let the game slip away in the bottom of the inning on a balk.

Army Corps seeks dismissal of Missouri floodway farmers' lawsuit

Hundreds of farmers are seeking damages in a class-action lawsuit after last May's breach of the levee protecting the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which conducted the breach with court approval, has filed to dismiss the lawsuit on grounds that the plaintiffs don't have a valid claim.

Boone County voter information for Tuesday's municipal election

Have questions about participating in Tuesday's municipal election? Here are some answers.

Short profiles of Columbia City Council candidates

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Barbara Hoppe has outstanding record

She has proven she cares about making Columbia a better place for all its citizens, not just a wealthy few.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Hoppe exemplifies leadership for Columbia

Barbara Hoppe cares for her constituents, listens to their concerns and actively engages in the issues.

Two more candidates file for public administrator

Republicans Norman Lampton and John D. Sullivan join Democratic incumbent Cathy Richards and Democrat Connie Bell Hendren in the race for the Boone County office

Woman suffers burns in early morning apartment fire

Damage to the Ash Street apartment building estimated at $150,000.

Columbia City Council candidates address ward-specific issues

Voters will select council representatives in Columbia's Second and Sixth wards on Tuesday. Each ward has different challenges and constituencies.

SHOW ME THE RECORDS: Traffic accidents involving deer analyzed

The Missouri State Highway Patrol has analysis of accidents involving deer between 2002 and 2010.

Columbia College softball sweeps doubleheader

The Cougars beat Indiana-Southeast 7-3 in the first game and 6-0 in the second in nonconference play Friday in New Albany, Ind.

Missouri audit questions use of federal funds for welfare, other programs

Costs under question include $670,000 for utility assistance, around $44 million in expenses for welfare programs and close to $190,000 in over-payments to supplement the unemployed.

Back-up generator battery fails at Police Department

Battery acid ruined some equipment, and clean-up may take most of the day.

Teen suspect in Chuck E. Cheese's episode certified as adult

James Terrell Miller, 16, faces charges of armed criminal action, unlawful use of a weapon and first-degree assault in connection with gunshots fired outside the restaurant on Feb. 20.