Mega Millions Now $1.6 Billion, Biggest Jackpot in History

1.6B Mega Millions prize due to simple math some surprises

Gordon Medenica is the head of Mega Millions and says 95 percent of tickets purchased are computer-generated quick picks.

The dismal odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot - 1 in 302.5 million - means there are 302.5 million potential number combinations, or a little less than one combination for all 328 million people living in the U.S. For last Friday's drawing, about 59 percent of possible combinations were taken. In doing so, Powerball changed the odds of winning the jackpot from one in 175 million to one in 292.2 million.

Put the lottery on - and do it now because the US Mega Millions jackpot grew to a ridiculous $1.6 billion (£1.2bn) after Friday's draw ended with no victor.

This jackpot is the largest lottery prize so far in USA history, but what do you do if you win? "The other half says it'll probably kill me".

The Powerball jackpot also has climbed.

Karen Kinzler, customer service manager at Hugo's Family Marketplace in Jamestown, said the ticket sales started growing on Tuesday, Oct. 16, with more than $900 in tickets sold.

Across the river in IN, money from the lottery sales also goes a variety of places. The previous record was a US$1.586 billion jackpot for a Powerball drawing in 2016. For the $1.6 billion Mega Millions jackpot, for example, the cash option is $904.9 million.

But you are more likely to get killed by a shark than win, with odds of a shark attack at one in 3.7 million, according to the Tucson, Arizona-based International Wildlife Museum. "I'm spending my coffee money on this today", said Rita Gomez, a 51-year-old self-described occasional lotto player who was purchasing tickets for herself, her sister and two friends at a convenience store in Chicago. As Jane L. Risen, a professor of behavioral science at the University of Chicago, puts it: When the jackpot grows so large, "it creates this sense of community".

Still, about half of the approximately 320 million people living in the USA are expected to play in today's Mega Millions drawing.

No one has won the Mega Millions jackpot since July 24, when 11 coworkers in California split $543 million.

The odds of winning don't change as jackpots get larger, but the chance that more than one victor will share the prize do.

Based on the projected payout schedule for tomorrow's prize, that interest rate now sits around 3.45 percent, up from 2.84 percent when I examined the big Powerball prize for the New York Times almost three years ago.

Mega Millions tickets are sold in 44 USA states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands.

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