[ cheers and applause ] this is "nightline." >> tonight, powerball fever. the numbers are in. do we have a winner the historic largest-ever $1.5 billion jackpot? >> so this is pretty nice. i could get used to this. >> what past winners are telling us about how their lives were transformed. plus, facing your biggest fears. >> oh my god! >> from winter driving to flying to roller coasters. in our series "project you," real tips for taming your most crippling phobias. and 20 years after "the lion king," simba and the rest of the pride are back with "the lion guard." the new adventure with their new cub. first the "nightline 5." >> we live in a pick and choose toward.
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good evening. like people all over america tonight we huddled in the abc newsroom and watched the powerball drawing. none of us won. but somebody did, as we go on the air tonight, lottery officials tell us they have at least one winner, in california, in the largest jackpot in history. nearly $1.6 billion.
hundreds gathering outside the 7-eleven where the winning ticket was sold. abc's david wright has the latest tonight plus fascinating advice from past winners. >> tonight's jackpot is approaching $1.6 billion -- >> reporter: tonight millions of americans tuned in to see the powerball drawing of the century. moments after tonight's drawing, california lotto officials tweeted, we have a winner in california. a jackpot-winning ticket was sold in chino hills. we're still awaiting results from other states. the winning ticket apparently sold at this 7-eleven store. meaning someone will be claiming, or sharing, that jaw-dropping $1.5 billion jackpot. the largest the u.s. has ever seen. making this a $2 ticket to the 1% club. in theory, at least. >> can we get in there? >> sure, you can.
you can have an umbrella in case. >> reporter: we indulged our inner billionaires, shopping for cars -- >> i could get used to this. >> reporter: and condos. >> this is what you need. >> reporter: plenty of others were dreaming too. all across america. >> i feel 100% confident. >> reporter: powerball pandemonium. >> it's been insane. >> reporter: inspiring billionaires lining up patiently, dreaming of instant wealth. >> the winner! >> that can't be the winner, we're getting the winner. >> this is the winner! >> reporter: 300 million tickets sold just today, almost one ticket for every person in this country. some people placing multiple bets. >> this is the office pool? >> yeah. >> you're entrusted? >> i'm entrusted. hopefully they don't fly away in the wind. >> reporter: 1.5 billion, enough to tempt nhl stars -- >> how many tickets are you going to buy? >> i don't know, we'll see. >> reporter: and hollywood a-listers. the gas station across from the golden globes did a brisk
business sunday night. >> we have a lot of customers that come and buy for stars. >> reporter: in reality, your chance of winning is pretty much the same whether you buy a ticket or not. according to walter hickey of 538. >> they say you can't win if you don't play. do you think that's a fair statement? >> i think it's a factually correct statement. i don't know if it constitutes a strategy. i guess that you're marginally increasing your probability of winning from zero to .000000001. i think that's enough zeros. there might be one more. >> reporter: the odds of winning? 1 in 292 million. in other words, don't feel bad if your number didn't come in. >> complete the sentence for me. the odds of doing blank are bigger than the odds of winning the lottery? >> if you selected a random human on earth, just any random human, it's the same probability that they actually represent pennsylvania in congress. >> reporter: in october, lottery officials added more of those little white balls, making it
harder to win, and that's what's driving up the jackpot. >> there's a sense as it gets bigger your chances of winning improve? is that true? >> not really, no. the chances of winning, whether it's $40 million or $1.5 billion, they're the same. >> reporter: okay, i'm not sure i quite get the math. but if i'm a billionaire, i don't have to worry about math. right? ♪ ♪ prepare for when i'm a billionaire ♪ >> reporter: if i'm a billionaire i could easily afford a better ride than bruno mars and travis mccoy in that music video "billionaire." >> here we have the porsche. >> reporter: a car like this would be chump change. >> $1.5 million? for this car? >> yes. >> reporter: today walter durso at manhattan motor cars took my word that i was good for it. >> you can probably get into a lamborghini, maybe a porsche 918. >> reporter: letting us test drive the rolls-royce phantom,
price tag $650,000. >> now what would be your next purchase? >> well, i think we need someplace to park it. real estate. >> reporter: in midtown manhattan, noble black showed us the penthouse in the baccarat residence. >> welcome to the penthouse. >> reporter: a 7,400 square foot apartment -- >> oh, yes, this is what you need. >> reporter: across from rockefeller center. >> you'd want to be body confident, i think, to be in a bathroom like this. >> it's not suitable for shy people. if you're a billionaire you can afford curtains. >> if i care ask, the price tag? >> the price is $60 million. >> $60 million? >> just $60 million. >> you could buy several? >> you could buy several, have one in every city. >> reporter: with cash to last a lifetime, just think of the epic ways you could quit your job. >> there you go. >> it's crazy. >> reporter: when jewelry leech won $310 million in october, she was clear she wasn't going back
to work. >> oh, i quit automatically. >> reporter: with this much money, you could quit in style. >> i'm here to tell you that i'm quitting. >> reporter: remember joey quits who went viral quitting with the help of a marching band. ♪ >> reporter: for a mere $1 million, hire justin timberlake to tell your boss to -- or get any number of big-name acts to deliver the news. >> let's talk about doing this. >> reporter: that isn't ambitious enough you could follow in the steps of gwen dean who had a message for boss ted in this godaddy super bowl ad. >> hi, ted. i quit. >> she just quit her job. >> yep. >> in front of 100 million people. >> job, baby. >> reporter: rates for this year's super bowl commercials are estimated at $5 million for a 30-second spot. the powerball winner could afford a super bowl infomercial. but before we all get carried away, most experts in instant
wealth, like "shark tank's" barbara corcoran, says quitting isn't always a good idea. >> you keep a pattern going, it helps you have discipline. yes, you shouldn't change anything radically, least of all your job. >> reporter: still, more money than most of us can imagine. just ask former lotto winner loous itewe isenberg. >> my life changed completely. >> reporter: a former electrician who won $5 million in 1981, back then the los angeles largest lottery payout ever. >> everybody wanted a piece of me. i met the governor cuomo, mario cue bowl mow, celebrities, johnny carson, oprah winfrey. >> reporter: nearly 35 years later he squandered all the money. his advice? >> go slow a little bit. enjoy what you're doing. >> reporter: lou, having won big back in '81, he still plays the same numbers every week. including today. >> are we going to win the powerball? >> you keep hitting my shoulder, we're going to win, yes.
>> reporter: hoping lightning will strike twice. while he may not be rich anymore he says he's rich at heart. >> now the only thing i'm happy with is my sweetheart and i care for her, i love her. and i didn't have that before. >> reporter: so assuming, like me, you didn't win, take heart. your odds of winning the powerball were slim to none. your odds of being happy anyway are much, much better. i'm david wright for "nightline" in new york. coming up next on "nightline," why these people, who are terrified of roller coasters, are voluntarily riding a roller coaster. tips on how you can conquer your deepest fears. 20 years after "the lion king," the new generation taking the lead. the making of "the lion guard." 1800 pounds of do whatever the heck i want.
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fear is part of the human condition. it serves an evolutionary purpose. fear can keep you alive in a dangerous situation. but when it keeps you from driving your car or getting on a plane, fear can be unnecessary and destructive. tonight one radical and frankly scary method for facing your phobias head-on. it won't be easy. here's abc's linzie janis in our series "project you." >> reporter: for these students, there is nothing amusing about this ohio amusement park. >> it's okay. >> reporter: they're not here for the fun. they're here in the roller coaster capital of the world to face, and hopefully overcome, their biggest fear.
>> how are you feeling? >> i am feeling nervous standing here. >> reporter: will they find the courage to buckle up and ride? or beg to get off? >> how many of you, when you ride a roller coaster or think about riding a roller coaster, get a little bit of fear or anxiety? >> reporter: believe it or not these terrified students signed up for this. they're human guinea pigs in abnormal psychology class. >> which brings us to what the face your fear project is about. >> reporter: in this unique face your fear project, professor kevin myer teaches students to overcome general anxiety and phobias through immersion and exposure therapy. >> everyone's going to get something out of this. >> reporter: the class, including lexie, zach, and mary, will have learned to overcome their own mental corkscrew. >> we're dealing with roller coasters that's true. the techniques they're going to learn in this class are generalizable to all sorts of anxieties and fears. >> reporter: nearly 40 million
adults in this country suffer some form of anxiety disorder. from social anxiety and panic disorder to the more extreme form, phobias. and many of these different anxieties can be treated and even cured using a common approach. >> we teach people how to relax, how to relax their bodies so they can learn to control their emotions and become more mindful of what they're thinking what they're feeling. >> reporter: so chances are if you're afraid of something, there may not be a class designed to help you overcome it. paralyzed by icy roads? take this bridgestone winter driving school in colorado. >> no brakes. no brakes. >> reporter: or afraid to fly? >> oh my god. oh my god. >> reporter: take a class in fearless flying from a retired air force pilot. >> it wasn't as bad as i thought. i think maybe this is my first time flying so -- just getting over that hurdle. >> reporter: back in ohio, to get a baseline read on the level
of fear amongst professor myer's students, we brought a few to cedar point eight weeks early. lexie is touring the safety feature of the 93-mile-per-hour millennium force. >> are those like mechanically come down or do they push them down? >> they do not release until we give the train power from underneath. >> i see younger kids who are happy to go on this. i'm 21 and afraid and it's almost embarrassing. >> reporter: she says she's hoping in eight weeks not only will she be able to ride, but to be able to conquer her everyday anxieties. >> i hate to go anywhere with a crowd. >> reporter: mary tout knows exactly how lexie feels. her goal? to not overthink a ride on top thrill dragster. >> i don't think i can ride that. >> reporter: she's skeptical anything she learns in class will be enough to erase her fear. >> as i'm standing here now i feel sick to my stomach.
it's terrifying, to say the least. i guess my goal is to at least get farther in line, let alone ride it. >> reporter: 6'6" zach irwin has never ridden a roller coaster because he's consumed with the idea he might fall out. >> a very intense fear, whether it's rational or not. >> reporter: but he's hoping he'll be able to join lexie on the millennium force in seven weeks. >> taking a deep breath is extremely important -- >> reporter: in preparation for the big day professor myer teaches his class a series of techniques. >> step one is learning how to breathe. breathe in slowly to a count of five. >> reporter: breathe and focus on the present. write a letter from your future self telling you what it felt like to succeed. rethink how you think by watching point of view videos. >> it gives their brain another option -- >> reporter: professor myer says it takes mindful practice to make them work. >> i came back to my room later and did the breathing exercises. and i came out of it really
relaxed. >> reporter: eight weeks later, lexie is seeing no noticeable change. >> i think the breathing exercises that we've been doing have actually been working more than i thought. they're finally kind of slowing my thoughts down. >> reporter: zach has newfound determination. >> it's kind of, you know, go big or go home at this point. >> reporter: but mary is still racked with apprehension. >> how are you feeling? >> a little sick to my stomach right now. >> take deep breaths are say your mantras. . distract yourself. it is going to be fun. >> you're terrified, are you okay? >> i'm good. we'll power through. >> check your seats. please stand clear of the gates. the door now closes. >> reporter: finally the moment of truth.
>> how do you feel right now? >> so proud. >> proud? >> yeah. >> just looking at it -- looking at it's worse than being on it, i think. >> reporter: and mary? she trades her tears for cheers. >> how do you feel? >> so happy it's over with. i actually had fun. >> what does it mean that you conquered this fear? >> it means that i overcame something that was anxious for me. was able to just push through it and know that i was confident enough to do it. >> reporter: confidence they hope will follow them for the rest of their lives. >> now i can do anything. >> good for you! well done. >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm linzie janis in sandusky, ohio. up next here, the circle of life. the next chapter in the story of "the lion king." "beth" by kiss
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finally, 20 years after "the lion king," simba is back with a baby. here's abc's nick watt. ♪ >> reporter: 22 years after "the lion king" roared -- >> everyone scatter! >> reporter: "the lion guard." sequel, tv movie, now series from our parent company walt disney premiering on disney jr. how do grownups create cartoons for kids? >> my son came home. he plays in the park with his friends every thursday.
they have this imaginary superhero team that fights imaginary bad guys. that's when it hit me. we've put superheroes in the prideland. sort of the avengers meets the lion king. >> reporter: so the lion guard is simba's son and his multi-species posse, keeping peace on the plains. we're behind the scenes. >> when you're on the freeway, stuck in traffic, you get a lot of ideas. >> reporter: jose is a character creator. a blend of his brother and his boss. >> when you draw you have to imitate. if he's upset you have to be like, it automatically comes onto the paper. you put your acting into the character. >> reporter: meanwhile in the writer's room -- >> i don't know if you know this about the cuckoo. cuckoo is a terrible parent. there are cuckoos in africa. >> reporter: perhaps on the poster tacked to the office wall. >> we kind of stand in front of and look at. being tall we'd want to go with something smaller. like a dicdic but we couldn't
say it on a junior show. >> reporter: they consult zoologists to get the animal behavior right. apart of course from the fact that they talk. >> later, jed! >> reporter: on "lion guard," rob lowe, sarah hyland, and some new guy. >> exaggerated is totally fine. >> number two here at 14 minutes. >> hey, our flowers! >> reporter: and my john wayne bush buck made it into the show. >> hey, our flowers! >> reporter: "the lion guard" tv movie premiered in november with record ratings. clearly these guys know what they're doing. ♪ i told you i couldn't do it. >> that's enough. >> that was precisely it! you would right on pitch. one more time. >> i hate you all. >> reporter: i'm nick watt for "nightline" in los angeles. >> a new career for nick watt. thank you for watching.