‘Mega Millions’ jackpot reaches record $500 millionMarch 29th, 2012 - 2:02 am ICT by BNO News
WASHINGTON, D.C. (BNO NEWS) — The jackpot for Friday’s Mega Millions drawing increased to $500 million on Wednesday, making it the world’s largest jackpot ever in lottery history. The previous biggest-ever jackpot prize was $390 million in March 2007.
Although several people won prizes of up to $250,000 in Tuesday’s drawing, no one matched all the winning numbers for Tuesday’s $363 million jackpot, raising it to $500 million for Friday’s drawing. Mega Millions has now rolled 18 times since Marcia Adams of College Park, Georgia won $72 million in the January 24 drawing.
“Mega Millions has a long tradition of offering some of the largest jackpots in the world, so it’s impressive but not surprising that the game is once again breaking records,” said Gary Grief, who serves as the Texas Lottery executive director and lead director of Mega Millions.
The winner of the $500 million jackpot will have the option to receive the amount in annual payments over a 26-year period or to be paid $359.4 million immediately, although the prizes are still subject to federal and state taxes. Mega Millions is a multi-state lottery game played in 42 states plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
With the world’s largest jackpot likely to lead to jackpot fever, stores across the participating states already reported increased sales on Wednesday morning. Thousands of residents in Nevada, which does not have a state lottery, have ventured across state lines to buy tickets in California and Arizona.
“We’re doing all we can to facilitate sales for this huge jackpot,” said Pennsylvania Lottery Executive Director Todd Rucci. “A record jackpot like this provides entertainment value for loyal and new Lottery players, benefits our retail partners with growing commissions and most importantly provides tremendous opportunity for generating additional funding for programs benefiting older Pennsylvanians.”
According to the Georgia Lottery Corp, the odds of winning the jackpot are approximately 1 in 175 million.
Previously, the world’s largest jackpot was $390 million, won by two players in Georgia and New Jersey in March 2007.
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