Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – You’re 32 times more likely to be struck by lightning than you are to win the staggering Mega Millions jackpot that will hit a record $1.6 billion for the Oct. 23 draw. The prize at stake on Oct. 19 was $970 million.
No one won this lotto jackpot and the odds get worse even as this jackpot edges towards $2 billion or even higher in time for the next draw tomorrow, Oct. 23. The estimated cash option for the $1.6 billion prize is nearly $905 million.
No Mega Millions ticket matched the six numbers drawn Friday night: 15-23-53-65-70, and Mega Ball 7. The Mega Millions jackpot is already the biggest ever. The record for a Mega Millions prize was $656 million in 2012.
On the other hand, the current record for the largest lottery jackpot was a Powerball prize of $1.59 billion in 2016.
While nobody took the top prize, 15 tickets won at least $1 million. One ticket matched the Megaplier for a $2 million prize.
The odds of winning last Friday’s $1 billion jackpot were one in 302.5 million, or 0.00000033%. The odds of being struck by lightning are one in 960,000.
“Mega Millions has already entered historic territory, but it’s truly astounding to think that now the jackpot has reached an all-time world record,” said Gordon Medenica, lead director of the Mega Millions Group. “It’s hard to overstate how exciting this is — but now it’s really getting fun.”
But iif you do win, your next big job is growing your jackpot. Experrts say the best way to do that is to keep the news to yourself at first; hire a lawyer and a financial planner, and in most cases, choose the annuity payments rather than taking the cash lump sum all at once.
Mega Millions tickets can be bought in 44 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
There were no winners in Saturday’s $476.7 million Powerball jackpot, boosting the next jackpot Wednesday to $620 million.
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