Didn't get a lottery ticket ahead of the drawing? Well if you were hoping against all hope for another chance to win big, you've got it. According to lottery officials, no winning Mega Million tickets were sold for the $425 million jackpot. This sends the current annuity value to $550 million dollars. If an individual were lucky enough to draw the winning numbers, they would have a whopping $295.3 million dollars to themselves before taxes. And even after taxes, it would be safe to say that life wouldn't be the same.
The absence of a winner means this newest Mega Millions jackpot would be the fourth largest jackpot ever won. It would be the second largest Mega Millions jackpot, as the largest went for $656 million.
The possibility has sent would-be winners scrambling for a ticket. Paula Otto, the Mega Millions' lead director, has said that there's a chance that the huge amount of money on the line could possibly double in the near future if there are no winners.
"We've never had a jackpot at this level in December leading into the holidays. If we keep rolling, we could well be at a billion dollars going into Christmas."
Before you make plans to buy your own country, it's good to remember that while everyone's odds are roughly the same, the odds of buying a winning ticket are still pretty slim: 1 in 258,900,000.
— Mega Millions (@MegaMillionslot) December 14, 2013
For a point of reference, the odds of an American being struck by lightning is about 1 in 700,000. You have a better chance of being fried to a crisp over the course of your life than winning the lottery. You have even better odds of getting injured by a toilet. You also have better odds of dying in a surprise shark attack.
Terrible odds or not, the jackpot always inspires Americans to dream big and spend big. Otto says that the previous jackpot saw over $167 million in ticket sales. No doubt this may improve ahead of the Tuesday drawing.
What should someone do if they find out they just became insanely rich? There are certain steps you should (and shouldn't) take. Hopefully the winner isn't too flabberghasted to make the most of a Christmas miracle.
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