The Washington Times - September 21, 2011, 06:53PM

PHILADELPHIA — While taking in Tuesday night’s Nationals - Phillies game, plenty of fans may have noticed that the jackpots for the Pennsylvania Powerball and Mega Millions were well, extremely large. Our friends over at Nats Enquirer noticed and grabbed a screen shot of the new payouts.

Those crafty Nationals relievers used their spare time during a day-night doubleheader wisely and moved a few things around out there. I don’t know about you, but $521 million for Powerball and $705 million for Mega Millions sounds like a pretty good return for a couple of dollars on a lottery ticket.

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No one would immediately name the mastermind behind the scheme but there were a few pointing in the direction of reliever Tyler Clippard, though almost all of the relievers who were asked smirked and plead the fifth. When the park was opened on Wednesday the numbers had been returned to their correct $25 million and $86 million jackpots for the Powerball and Mega Millions, respectively. 

I wondered just how gullible the 45,000 or so Philly fans that packed Citizens Bank Park actually were, so I looked into it. Turns out, they’re not taken that easily after all. While the Pennsylvania Lottery was made aware of the “situation,” there was no noticeable spike in the sales of Powerball or Mega Millions tickets during the Nationals’ 3-0 loss to the Phillies last night.

The person I spoke with from the lottery made a good point: anyone who saw the numbers and thought they’d invest in a ticket for that reason would quickly be made aware of the actual jackpots when they went to buy their ticket. So, alas, the Nationals relievers couldn’t bankrupt the greater Philadelphia area.