If sales of lottery tickets are anything to go by then you would not be mistaken in thinking that Americans enjoy gambling on lotteries. However, they haven’t been doing too well of late. The Powerball jackpot hasn’t been won since August 11 and as for the Mega Millions draw, that jackpot was last won on July 24. The next draw on Tuesday, October 23, has a jackpot of at least $1.6bn (cash option $904m), the largest ever top prize in US Lottery history.
The previous Mega Millions record of $667m was broken in Friday’s $1bn draw. Now the jackpot is a staggering billion dollars higher and is bound to increase before the balls are drawn as the rush for tickets will go into overdrive.
It’s not just beaten the Mega Millions all-time record but now the overall US record. The previous highest ever jackpot was the $1.5bn Powerball jackpot that took place in January 2016 shared by three tickets.
So Close to a Billion Dollars
There was good and bad news for 14 ticket-holders on Friday as they matched the five main balls to all win $1m, while one sold in Texas used the Megaplier option to win $2m. They all matched the five main numbers but will have to live with the fact that if they had matched the Mega Ball, they would have landed the $1bn Mega Millions jackpot.
Last year, Americans spent $72.97bn on lottery tickets, according to Gallup. That works out at $206.69 per person. CBS News business analyst Jill Schelesinger claims that a lot of players just “take a moment out of their day to consider how to dream big.”
Not surprising as the chances of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 258.9m. It’s even harder to win the Powerball top prize with odds of 1 in 292.2m and the current jackpot in that draw is $470m.
Steve Ashfield is a freelance writer who has a wide range of experience covering various aspects of the gambling industry. Over the years he has edited professional wrestling magazines, written horse racing tips, and covered news on a variety of different sports. Contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org.