When jackpot lotteries seem to be getting bigger and bigger, it's because they're getting bigger and bigger.
Friday night's Mega Millions grand prize has reached an incredible $ 1 billion and continues the trend toward huge jackpots. It is the second largest lottery prize in US history, and has joined five other top 10s in the last three years.
The lottery officials have changed the odds of winning in recent years to reduce the chance of a jackpot top prizes to reach stratospheric levels. A Look At How The Numbers Work:
WHY THE NUMBER OF JACKPOTS REDUCED?
The theory was that bigger jackpots would attract more attention and more players would throw away $ 2 for a Mega Millions or Powerball ticket. The more tickets are sold, the bigger the jackpots get, the more players and … you get the idea.
Powerball was the first to try the theory in October 201
states have generally reported increased Mega Millions and Powerball sales since the change. But the ever-increasing jackpots have made them more and more dependent on these massive payoffs, because the prices that once seemed so immense now seem almost tiny by comparison. Consider the current Powerball jackpot of $ 430 million. That's an incredible amount of money, but compared to the Mega Millions prize hovering around $ 1 billion, it seems worth the effort to buy a ticket.
WHEN THE JACKPOT IS ENORMOUS, HOW SALES ARE?
It's Hard Exaggerating how fast lottery tickets fly out of the Mini Marts when the grand prizes get so big. In California, for example, the lottery Thursday sold $ 5.7 million in Mega Millions tickets during the first half of the day. The amount of revenue came during the lunch break when people bought 200 tickets a second.
WHEN I WIN, WHAT MAKES IT IN THE BANK?
Do not count on a deposit for nearly a billion dollars if you win the Friday night drawing. Nearly all winners take the cash option, which was about $ 548 million on Friday morning. After federal taxes and government deductions that vary across the country, winners will typically pay half of that amount for their yacht purchases. The annuity option guarantees more money, but it is paid over 29 years and would also lead to a high tax bill.
GIVE THE WONDERFUL ODDS TO PLAY AT I SUCKER?
You are not rational if you think you have a good chance of winning the jackpot, whether with a ticket or 100. The odds are overwhelming not in your favor.
Most people do not expect to win and instead think that the $ 2 ticket a small price is part of a wish conversation with colleagues or family. As Jane L. Risen, professor of behavioral science at the University of Chicago, says, "When the jackpot gets so big," he creates that sense of community. He creates that sense of camaraderie. I also think he creates a potential feeling of regret not to be the one who plays, "she said.
Associated Press journalist Teresa Crawford in Chicago contributed to this report.
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