Record US$1.6 billion jackpot too much for some US lottery players

Daysi Lorenzo

There were 36 second prize tickets sold Tuesday night - eight in California, 4 in both Florida and NY, two each in Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey and Virginia, and one each in Arizona, the District of Columbia, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin, according to Mega Millions.

The theory was that bigger jackpots would draw more attention, leading more players to plop down $2 for a Mega Millions or Powerball ticket.

The individual matched all five white ball numbers drawn, but not the Mega Ball number. The next Powerball drawing is Wednesday, Oct. 24, and it's worth $620 million with a $354.3 million cash value.

The anonymous Mega Millions jackpot victor took home the ultimate $1.537 billion pot - just short of the country's biggest lottery prize ever. That's another deduction. If you get the 30 year annuity, you're annual payment would be a little under $38 million. In comparison, the odds of getting killed by a shark are 1 in 3.7 million in a lifetime, according to the International Shark Attack File.

One $ 31 million lottery victor ending up broke and living in a trailer.

Subscription lottery purchases - where you can set how many games you play over a set time frame - work similarly to individual Mega Millions ticket sales, though there are minimum deposits and time commitments required with subscriptions. Players have 365 days after the date of a drawing to claim prizes. In 2016, Americans spent more than $ 80 billion on lotteries, eclipsing the combined total of what they spent on movies, video games, books, music and sports tickets.

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The odds of winning Powerball are 1 in 292.2 million.

In Chicago, a crowded newsstand inside the city's Ogilvie Transportation Center was unable to display the record-setting prize amount because US$999 million was the highest number its electronic sign could show. "I think more than one person should win". Lottery revenue represents a small fraction of the department's overall budget - the $32.3 million it received for fiscal year 2019 makes up just 1.42 percent of the money in the department's funding formula.

The Mega Millions jackpot is the largest in history and it has brought out some real characters hoping to get some of the winnings.

So, what are your chances of winning the $1.6-billion jackpot this time? If it seems like these astronomical numbers are happening more frequently, it's because they are.

States have generally reported increased Mega Millions and Powerball sales since the change.

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