Mega Millions soars to $640 million
If no one wins the world-record-breaking amount tonight, the jackpot could grow to nearly $1 billion.
Unexpectedly brisk sales of Mega Millions tickets in the last 24 hours have driven the jackpot for tonight's drawing to $640 million -- $100 million more than Thursday's estimate, which set a new world record for the biggest lottery jackpot.
And it could get even larger when all of today's ticket sales are tallied. Sales have been robust throughout the day in the 42 states, plus Washington, D.C., where Mega Millions can be played. And ticket sales are bound to pick up as people leave work for the day. (Post continues below.)
At the $640 million mark, a winner would have the option of taking a $462 million lump-sum prize before taxes or collecting 26 annual installments of about $24 million each.
And, if no one wins in tonight's drawing, lottery officials will face a most unusual problem. The Boston Globe reports:
If a winner is not drawn tonight, the jackpot will climb to nearly $975 million. (Paul Sternburg, executive director of the Massachusetts Lottery) said that would be a problem for lottery agency billboards in other states that will not have enough digits to display the jackpot if it goes over $1 billion.
But with so many people playing this lottery and buying multiple tickets, it's much more likely that someone will win tonight. In fact, there likely will be multiple winners.
Could you be one of them? Probably not. The chance is 1 in about 176 million. The Associated Press reports:
"You are about 50 times as likely to get struck by lightning as to win the lottery, based on the 90 people a year getting struck by lightning," (Mike) Catalano (math department chairman at Dakota Wesleyan University) said. "Of course, if you buy 50 tickets, you've equalized your chances of winning the jackpot with getting struck by lightning."
Based on other U.S. averages, you're about 8,000 times more likely to be murdered than to win the lottery, and about 20,000 times more likely to die in a car crash than hit the lucky numbers, Catalano said.
Some people are more realistic than others about their prospects. "I'm reading an article about what to do after you hit the mega millions jackpot. Next article, how to housebreak your unicorn," says @scottbhuff on Twitter," USA Today reports.
More on MSN Money:
Where would one even keep/ do with that amount of money? Guess it'd be fun to find out.
They say you have a better chance of randomly being hit by lightning 50 times or sinking 2 Hole in 1's in an afternoon.
ps: if i dont win, i hope the winner would consider donating 10k for my college tuition. (I have a 3.85 GPA)
If I win I'm totally going to fix up my double-wide trailer,
and maybe even get a white picket fence.
If Barack wins will he buy gas for all of us poor people since he won't drill any holes?
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