Lottery Fever Spurs Ticket Sales As Mega Millions Jackpot Approaches $1 Billion

Mega Millions $900M, Powerball $430M Jackpots Await This Weekend

An office pool of 11 co-workers in California shared $543 million, the largest prize ever won on a single ticket in the game.

Granted, those numbers get pared down a LOT once cash value calculations and good old Uncle Sam get a hold of the winnings.

Each of the 24 semi-weekly drawings have failed to produce a top victor since July 24, when an 11-member office pool in Santa Clara County, California, hit a $543 million jackpot.

On top of that, Ascienzo adds, Mega Millions also doubled its ticket price to $2, which has also contributed to the growth.

The odds of winning Mega Million are one in 302.5 million.

However, its second-biggest one of all time for $656 million happened in 2012 before the tweak. The lottery officials who run Mega Millions tweaked the rules and odds of the game last October to make jackpots pay out less frequently, spurring their monster growth.

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Others buy more tickets as the jackpot grows. Powerball odds are just slightly better at 1 in 292.2 million.

The largest lottery jackpot in United States history was $1.6 billion from a Powerball game in January 2016. "Problem is someone else may be a victor of the jackpot", Odlyzko said.

In June 2009, a then 27-year-old Kings Mountain resident Jeff Wilson's life changed when the Powerball ticket given to him by his father matched all six numbers, winning him the $88.1 million prize. In Arizona, people who win more than $600 can keep their names secret for 90 days after claiming prizes, but after that names are public record. The winning numbers on Tuesday were 69, 45, 61, 3, 49, and the Mega Ball was 9.

State lottery commissions have relied on human psychology and the spirit of optimism to fuel sales.

Tonight's will take place on Friday at 11pm, eastern daylight time. On Wednesday, the jackpot was bumped from $868 million to $900 million.

At the Smithfield News in Downtown Pittsburgh, there was a steady stream of lottery ticket buyers. In that year, lottery ticket sales eclipsed the combined total of what Americans spent on movies, video games, books, music and sports tickets.

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