Mega Millions Jackpot Is The Highest Ever At $540 Million
Lines have been snaking around stores from coast to coast all week with customers looking to cash in on what has now become the largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history, tonight’s $540 million Mega Millions drawing. A now eye-popping 400 million tickets have been sold in just the last 48 hours for the drawing set to take place at 11 p.m. Friday at WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia — one of the 42 states where Mega Millions is played. Friday’s jackpot pushed past what was estimated to be a $476 million jackpot after stronger than anticipated sales nationwide. And it far surpasses the previous record of $390 million.
“Friday night’s Mega Millions drawing … provides an unprecedented opportunity for players to take a chance on a half-billion dollar dream for just the $1 price of a ticket,” Gary Grief, lead director for the Mega Millions group said. “We have people coming out that have never bought a ticket before, because they see this number and they think, ‘Gee, for just a dollar, I have a chance at a half a billion.’ It’s hard not to take a chance on that.”
If one single winner manages to hit all six numbers of the Mega Millions jackpot, the winner will have the option of receiving 26 annual payments of about $20.7 million, or a cash option of approximately $389.8 million. Hopefuls with lottery fever across the U.S. are strategizing and purchasing dozens – even thousands — of tickets.
Washington Wizards player Chris Singleton – who is bringing in somewhere in the area of $1.5 million this season — is one lottery player who is playing with more than one shot — Singleton thinks he’s a slam dunk to win, tweeting that he planned to spend $10,000 on tickets, the Washington Post reported.
In California, lottery officials put out a cheat sheet of which stores have sold the most winning tickets. Retailers receive 5.5 cents for each $1 ticket sold, 1 percent of every prize they pay at their store, and a cash bonus for selling top prizes ($50,000 for Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots). The odds of winning Friday’s Mega Millions jackpot are downright depressing — a miserable 1 out of 176 million. Yet many Americans are eternally optimistic, with millions dreaming that it’s time for their number to come up.
What would you do with alllllll that gwap???