Mega Millions has already smashed its own jackpot record, which was $656 million, shared by winners in three states in March 2012. The more tickets sold, the more the jackpots grow, leading to more players and. you get the idea. But player's odds don't actually change, regardless of what numbers are picked.
Chances of winning the jackpot are one in 302,575,350, according to the Mega Millions website.
In other words, reducing the number of balls for the first five numbers increases the chances of winning a smaller prize.
For all the anticipation about whether someone will finally snag the huge Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots, the games come down to two things: simple math and very long odds. That game itself is now at a monster jackpot, though a small one relative to Mega Millions, at $620 million ahead of Wednesday's drawing. But the ever-increasing jackpots have left them ever-more dependent on those massive payouts because prizes that once seemed so huge now seem nearly puny in comparison.
"We're getting a lot of first-timers, because it's (the jackpot) so high".
"The higher the jackpot is, ...it gets nuts", said Wilcox.
Last week, Jared Lucas of Grifton in Lenoir County won $1 million after he and his wife chose to buy Mega Millions tickets at a Handy Mart convenience store in Winterville in the eastern part of the state. "They didn't believe me until they saw the ticket".
Even if you did not win, you can still say you were a part of lottery history. The one-time cash option is estimated at $905 million - still nothing to sneeze at.
For winners of $5,000 or more, all states automatically deduct 24 percent in federal taxes, but state taxes vary widely. That is, those are the amount you'd be paid if you chose an annuity, doled out over 29 years.
The probabilities are overwhelmingly not in your favour.
How bad are the odds?
The $1.6 billion Mega Millions jackpot has set an all-time world record, surpassing the $1.586 billion Powerball drawing that occurred on January 13, 2016. The pot has been growing since July as jackpots continue to rollover and build. It creates this sense of camaraderie.
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