Utahns cross state lines for Powerball, Mega Million tickets

06 January, 2018, 02:41 | Author: Irene Delgado
  • Mega Millions jackpot closes in on half a billion dollars

The jackpot for the Mega Millions drawing Friday was raised to $450 million, with a cash option of $281.2 million, the Maryland Lottery announced.

"I bought 20-something dollars worth of merchandise", he said as he held a brown bag of items he picked up while across the state line.

Instead of opting for the publicised jackpot figure, which is paid out over an annuity paid over 29 years, most lottery winners choose to take a lump sum payment.

The jackpot jumps to an estimated $550 million for Saturday's drawing. The victor would take home a one-time, cash option of $347.9 million before taxes, should he or she choose a lump sum payment instead of receiving the prize in installments.

Until October, Mega Millions players picked five numbers from 1 to 75 and a Mega number between 1 and 15. More numbers were added to the twice-weekly drawings to make the lottery tougher to win.

The jackpot goes to a victor who matches the five numbers and the Powerball number, but winners also can win smaller prizes by matching some of the numbers.

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"I play it every month", said Tracy, who put down $200 for both games.

There's a misnomer that people in Arkansas don't win the big bucks, but she says that's not true. "They've never both been this high at the same time". The largest Powerball jackpot ever recorded was $1.586 billion in a win last January.

Lottery officials say Saturday's Powerball jackpot, if won, would be the 5th largest in the game's history. The largest Mega Millions jackpot of $656 million was won in 2012.

The odds of a single ticket hitting all six numbers in the Powerball are 292 million to 1, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association.

Even some winning instant scratch-off game tickets are never handed in to claim a prize, Jacobson said.

"People are always looking for the big money", he said.

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