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$425 MILLION: Mega Millions jackpot raised on huge sales

Mega MillionsMega Millions: $425 MILLION: Mega Millions jackpot raised on huge sales
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By Todd Northrop

The Mega Millions jackpot has grown to an estimated $425 million, prompting a rush of ticket-buying by people betting their luck will hold out when the second-largest drawing on record takes place on Friday the 13th.

Jan Lyons was waiting to buy a $1 Mega Millions lottery ticket Thursday when she decided to up her odds and purchase two.

"Because the jackpot is so high," said the 75-year-old retiree from south suburban Markham.

Because no one has won the jackpot in more than two months, the top prize has grown to the second-largest in Mega Millions history, trailing only a $656 million jackpot in March 2012 shared by an Illinois couple. It's also the fifth-largest in U.S. history.

The cash value has been raised to $228.2 million, making it the seventh-largest cash value for a US lottery jackpot in history.

While there was no winner in Tuesday's $344 million drawing, five tickets that matched the first five numbers to each win $1,000,000 were bought in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and two in Ohio.

A winner with a ticket matching all six numbers would have the choice of a full jackpot in 30 annual payments or a cash option of more than $200 million, before taxes.

The drawing is at 11 p.m. Eastern Time.

Lyons knows it's a long shot, with the odds of winning the jackpot at about one in 259 million. She says she doesn't play all the time but tends to be lured by the fervor and hype of the biggest pots.

"Somebody's got to win it," she said, laughing. "It might as well be me. If I don't play, I can't win."

Daniel Levine, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Arlington, said people often make decisions in terms of what's possible rather than what's probable.

"They're drawn to the fact that there is a chance that they'll win, and they're not thinking about the numbers," he said. "Our decisions don't always fall into a rational model."

Lottery players often are attracted to the huge jackpots, despite the minuscule odds, said Romel Mostafa, assistant professor at the Ivey School of Business at Western University in Ontario, Canada.

About five years ago, he and colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University studied lottery ticket purchases of low-income subjects and found they tended to buy more tickets for $1, one at a time. They were less likely to buy more tickets all at once because it was perceived as a greater financial setback.

"When they're making these decisions one at a time, they're thinking this is peanuts," he said. "Whereas when they're making the decision all at once, it seems like a bigger hit."

Mostafa also said people in the study tended to buy lottery tickets when they believed their income was below a socially acceptable standard. Subjects also were more inclined to buy tickets when they were primed to think about social inequalities.

"People start thinking the lottery can be fair, in that it really doesn't pick winners or losers based on education, race or occupation," he said.

Several customers at a Speedway gas station in Tinley Park were buying tickets Thursday.

"We are busy, crazy all day here," said co-manager Sirivanh Maneewan. "For $400 million, more people are buying."

One man said he happened to have three dollar bills in his pocket, so he bought three tickets.

Ron Scherer, 42, a roofer from Merrionette Park, had a simple explanation for the ticket in his hand.

"I'm just trying to make money," he said.

Lottery players seeking to check the winning numbers Saturday night are urged to use USA Mega (www.usamega.com). State lottery Web sites are normally sluggish or brought to a standstill during busy periods, while USA Mega normally remains responsive.

Mega Millions drawing results will be posted immediately after the 11:00 pm drawing at USA Mega. The number of winners and new jackpot will be announced after all participating states have reported their data, which normally occurs within a few hours after the drawing.

Tickets will remain on sale typically until 10:45 pm Eastern Time on Saturday, although players should check with a lottery retailer in their state for the exact sales cutoff time. Players are advised not to wait until the last minute.

The odds of winning the jackpot are approximately 1 in 259 million. The odds of winning any of the Mega Millions prizes are 1 in 14.7.

Mega Millions tickets cost $1 each. For an extra $1 per ticket players can purchase the Megaplier option, which multiplies any non-jackpot won by up to 5 times, depending on the Megaplier number drawn that evening.

The only state that does not offer the Megaplier is California, because state law banning fixed lottery prize amounts is not compatible with the fixed nature of the Megaplier payouts.

Lottery players can see an after-tax analysis of the current Mega Millions jackpot by visiting USA Mega's Jackpot Analysis page.

Mega Millions features nine different prize levels, ranging from $1 all the way up to the jackpot. Players can win even if they just match one number — the Mega Ball number.

Top 25 United States lottery jackpots of all time

Friday's Mega Millions jackpot currently stands as the 5th-largest lottery jackpot of all time in the United States.

  1. Mega Millions: $656 million, Mar. 30, 2012 - Illinois, Kansas, Maryland
  2. Powerball: $590.5 million, May 18, 2013 - Florida
  3. Powerball: $587.5 million, Nov. 28, 2012 - Arizona, Missouri
  4. Powerball: $448.4 million, Aug. 7, 2013 - Minnesota, New Jersey (2)
  5. Mega Millions: $425 million, Dec. 13, 2013 - Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  6. Powerball: $399.4 million, Sep. 18, 2013 - South Carolina
  7. Mega Millions: $390 million, Mar. 6, 2007 - Georgia, New Jersey
  8. Mega Millions: $380 million, Jan. 4, 2011 - Idaho, Washington
  9. Powerball: $365 million, Feb. 18, 2006 - Nebraska
  10. The Big Game: $363 million, May 9, 2000 - Illinois, Michigan
  11. Powerball: $340 million, Oct. 19, 2005 - Oregon
  12. Powerball: $338.3 million, Mar. 23, 2013 - New Jersey
  13. Powerball: $337 million, Aug. 15, 2012 - Michigan
  14. Powerball: $336.4 million, Feb. 11, 2012 - Rhode Island
  15. Mega Millions: $336 million, Aug. 28, 2009 - California, New York
  16. The Big Game: $331 million, Apr. 16, 2002 - Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey
  17. Mega Millions: $330 million, Aug. 31, 2007 - Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, Virginia
  18. Mega Millions: $319 million, Mar. 25, 2011 - New York
  19. Mega Millions: $315 million, Nov. 15, 2005 - California
  20. Powerball: $314.9 million, Dec. 25, 2002 - West Virgina
  21. Powerball: $314.3 million, Aug. 25, 2007 - Indiana
  22. Powerball: $295.7 million, Jul. 29, 1998 - Indiana
  23. Powerball: $295 million, Aug. 25, 2001 - Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Hampshire
  24. Mega Millions: $294 million, Jul. 2, 2004 - Massachusetts
  25. Powerball: $276.3 million, Mar. 15, 2008 - West Virgina

For those keeping score, the number of jackpots in the top 25, by lottery game, are:

  • Mega Millions: 9
  • Powerball: 14
  • The Big Game: 2

The Big Game is the original name of Mega Millions, from the game's first drawing on Sep. 6, 1996 through May 14, 2002.  The name was changed to Mega Millions starting with the May 17, 2002 drawing.

Top 25 cash value jackpots

Since many lottery winners collect their winnings in cash, the lump-sum payout is an important measure of what a winning ticket could be worth.

Looking at the cash value, the upcoming Mega Millions jackpot ranks as the 7th-largest cash value in U.S. history.

  1. Mega Millions: $471 million cash, Mar. 30, 2012 ($656 million annuity) - Illinois, Kansas, Maryland
  2. Powerball: $384.7 million cash, Nov. 28, 2012 ($587.5 million annuity) - Arizona, Missouri
  3. Powerball: $370.9 million cash, May 18, 2013 ($590.5 million annuity) - Florida
  4. Powerball: $258.2 million cash, Aug. 7, 2013 ($448.4 million annuity) - Minnesota, New Jersey (2)
  5. Mega Millions: $240 million cash, Jan. 4, 2011 ($380 million annuity) - Idaho, Washington
  6. Mega Millions: $233.1 million cash, Mar. 6, 2007 ($390 million annuity) - Georgia, New Jersey
  7. Mega Millions: $228.2 million cash, Dec. 13, 2013 ($425 million annuity) - Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  8. Powerball: $224.7 million cash, Aug. 15, 2012 ($337 million annuity) - Michigan
  9. Powerball: $223.3 million cash, Sep. 18, 2013 ($399.4 million annuity) - South Carolina
  10. Mega Millions: $214 million cash, Aug. 28, 2009 ($336 million annuity) - California, New York
  11. Powerball: $211 million cash, Mar. 23, 2013 ($338.3 million annuity) - New Jersey
  12. Powerball: $210 million cash, Feb. 11, 2012 ($336.4 million annuity) - Rhode Island
  13. Mega Millions: $202.9 million cash, Mar. 25, 2011 ($319 million annuity) - New York
  14. Mega Millions: $194.4. million cash, Aug. 31, 2007 ($330 million annuity) - Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, Virginia
  15. Mega Millions: $185 million cash, Nov. 15, 2005 ($315 million annuity) - California
  16. The Big Game: $180 million cash, May 9, 2000 ($363 million annuity) - Illinois, Michigan
  17. Powerball: $177.3 million cash, Feb. 18, 2006 ($365 million annuity) - Nebraska
  18. Powerball: $170.5 million cash, Dec. 25, 2002 ($314.9 million annuity) - West Virginia
  19. Mega Millions: $168 million cash, July 2, 2004 ($294 million annuity) - Massachusetts
  20. Mega Millions: $167.7 million cash, Feb. 22, 2008 ($275 million annuity) - Georgia
  21. Powerball: $166 million cash, Aug. 25, 2001 ($295 million annuity) - Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Hampshire
  22. Mega Millions: $165.2 million cash, May 4, 2010 ($266 million annuity) - California
  23. Powerball: $164.4 million cash, won Oct. 19, 2005 ($340 million annuity) - Oregon
  24. Mega Millions: $164 million cash, Feb. 28, 2006 ($270 million annuity) - Ohio
  25. Powerball: $161.5 million cash, July 29, 1998 ($295.7 million annuity) - Indiana

Lottery Post Staff, some material from Chicago Tribune

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98 comments. Last comment 4 months ago by helpmewin.
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Avatar
manitowoc, wisconsin
United States
Member #104966
January 23, 2011
256 Posts
Offline
Posted: December 13, 2013, 12:36 pm - IP Logged

I think I will jump in and get my ticket tonight on this news.

    BBLL's avatar - audi r8-wallpaper-bla
    Chicago
    United States
    Member #122767
    February 7, 2012
    93 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: December 13, 2013, 12:40 pm - IP Logged

    I smell money.Big Smile

      DDOH937's avatar - Lottery-028.jpg

      United States
      Member #149603
      December 4, 2013
      174 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: December 13, 2013, 12:48 pm - IP Logged

      """Daniel Levine, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Arlington, said people often make decisions in terms of what's possible rather than what's probable.

      "They're drawn to the fact that there is a chance that they'll win, and they're not thinking about the numbers," he said. "Our decisions don't always fall into a rational model.""""

       

      Really??? No crap Sherlock!!! Why would anyone pay attention to the numbers (odds)??? People should approach this simply like this...."i'll pick/get 6 numbers, and 6 numbers will be shown/drawn, if my numbers show then i win". Simple. All this crazy talk about the odds are rediculous. As if the prior odds were just sooooooooo much easier and better. Buy a couple/few tickets or so, cross your fingers and that's it. No need to look that much deeper into it if you ask me. Smash

      "It's good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it's good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven't lost the things that money can't buy." - George Lorimer

        Teddi's avatar - Lottery-008.jpg

        United States
        Member #142504
        May 13, 2013
        504 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: December 13, 2013, 12:49 pm - IP Logged

        Roll baby roll

        "I believe in luck. How else can you explain the success of those you dislike?" - Jean Cocteau

        "A gambler with a system must be, to a greater or lesser extent, insane." -  George Augustus Sala (1828-1895)

          golfer1960's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcRrT_aqD1AR0JipFSPNrYwpV7HY4uVoKxOgcUYLzZ3SEdif
          Eatontown, NJ
          United States
          Member #119675
          November 29, 2011
          522 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: December 13, 2013, 12:59 pm - IP Logged

          $425M?!!! Oh Lordy!!!

          Fainting

            Avatar
            New Member
            Washington
            United States
            Member #148671
            November 8, 2013
            6 Posts
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            Posted: December 13, 2013, 1:01 pm - IP Logged

            I just saw that the mega millions lottery director said as of this morning 34% of the combinations have been sold. I would say by the draw about 40% will be sold. 50/50 it's hit tonight.

              Arrowhead's avatar - underground
              Ohio
              United States
              Member #120759
              December 27, 2011
              248 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: December 13, 2013, 1:29 pm - IP Logged

              Yes Nod Well, guess I better run out a buy a line with a '13' on it. None of my previous three QP has one.

                Teddi's avatar - Lottery-008.jpg

                United States
                Member #142504
                May 13, 2013
                504 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: December 13, 2013, 1:40 pm - IP Logged

                $425M?!!! Oh Lordy!!!

                Fainting

                LMAO. Good one, Golfer. Nothing like a swooning woman to put it in perspective.

                "I believe in luck. How else can you explain the success of those you dislike?" - Jean Cocteau

                "A gambler with a system must be, to a greater or lesser extent, insane." -  George Augustus Sala (1828-1895)

                  Piaceri's avatar - sarsony1
                  Wannabe Won Percenter
                  Republic of Texas
                  United States
                  Member #57557
                  January 9, 2008
                  954 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: December 13, 2013, 1:40 pm - IP Logged

                  I'm in for the win! Wooooo!!!!!!! Let's gooooo!!!!!! Single winner, baby, single winner!!!!

                   

                  singlewinnersinglewinnersinglewinner

                   

                  Dance

                  face

                  singlewinnersinglewinnersinglewinner   

                    Goteki54's avatar - Lottery-007.jpg
                    Baltimore, MD
                    United States
                    Member #143337
                    May 30, 2013
                    174 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: December 13, 2013, 1:42 pm - IP Logged

                    People who play regulary thought MM was crazy to increase the Matrix to 75 numbers, but it turns out that the Mega Million folks were crazy like a fox. This has worked out perfectly for them, not such much for the players. lol With someone or others hitting the Power Ball last night, Mega Millions has all the attention. This is going to turn into a frenzy if no one hits tonight! I said I would never play MM again until the jackpot went over $400 mil, well I'm off to buy my ticket.Big Grin Interesting side note, 27 numbers have yet to hit which is amazing actually, that means 64% of the 75 number matrix has had a hit. I'm surprised it's happened this fast. Even with a gigantic number field, certain numbers are still able to get hot. #44 has hit 5 times in the last 10 drawings. #41 has hit 4 times in the last 10 drawing. Considering that there has only been 15 games since the relaunch, that's impressive.

                    Wheel Profits Unlimited!!Thumbs Up

                      Teddi's avatar - Lottery-008.jpg

                      United States
                      Member #142504
                      May 13, 2013
                      504 Posts
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                      Posted: December 13, 2013, 1:47 pm - IP Logged

                      I just saw that the mega millions lottery director said as of this morning 34% of the combinations have been sold. I would say by the draw about 40% will be sold. 50/50 it's hit tonight.

                      Wow. Only 34%? Much lower than I expected it to be by now. Anyone know how many tickets were sold since Tuesday? Unless the majority were waiting to buy their tickets today for Friday the 13th, looks very likely that it will roll again, which will make me happy but I'll finally break down and buy a few tickets tonight...just in case. Even though it would suck if both MM and PB got reset in the same week.

                      "I believe in luck. How else can you explain the success of those you dislike?" - Jean Cocteau

                      "A gambler with a system must be, to a greater or lesser extent, insane." -  George Augustus Sala (1828-1895)

                        Goteki54's avatar - Lottery-007.jpg
                        Baltimore, MD
                        United States
                        Member #143337
                        May 30, 2013
                        174 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: December 13, 2013, 2:05 pm - IP Logged

                        I can imagine how many people are going to play 13 as the gold money ball.Lurking

                        Wheel Profits Unlimited!!Thumbs Up

                          ressuccess's avatar - WhiteShyGuy

                          United States
                          Member #93166
                          June 23, 2010
                          835 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: December 13, 2013, 2:46 pm - IP Logged

                          I hope the jackpot continues to roll.

                            Avatar
                            New Member
                            Hickory, NC
                            United States
                            Member #149979
                            December 13, 2013
                            1 Posts
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                            Posted: December 13, 2013, 2:50 pm - IP Logged

                            The Mega Millions drawing is tonight, Friday 13th [December 2013].  The references in the article to Saturday should be changed.  Powerball draws on Saturday.