Mega Millions mania has hit the country in a big way.
The Mega Millions jackpot is now up to $540 million, making it the largest jackpot ever recorded for any lottery game in North America.
Like Charlie Bucket spending his last dime in hopes of finding a golden ticket, Americans are flocking to buy Mega Millions tickets, and vendors say that the rush is getting bigger as the deadline draws near.
Mega Millions rumors have been floating around, and headlines have people thinking about what they will do with their winnings before the numbers are picked. One conversation overheard on the streets of Chicago was about the winning numbers being drawn before noon on Thursday. Ticket sales are actually cut off at 10:45 p.m. Friday, 15 minutes before the numbers are drawn.
Newspapers all over the United States are giving Mega Millions players tips on how to spend their winnings wisely and which retailers are the “luckiest.”
If you’re rushing out to buy your Mega Millions ticket, here are a few things to remember. First of all, if you win, there’s a possibility that you won’t be the only winner. So that $540 million may be split in two.
Second of all, $540 million is the pre-tax sum. The government will be eager to get their hands on a large portion of your winnings.
Also, if the winner chooses the lump sum option, the jackpot will be reduced to $389 million before taxes.
Still, a $540 million jackpot, the largest in history, is hard to pass up. People who have never bought lottery tickets in their life have gambled the $1 in hopes of being the big winner.
So if you’re one of the millions who are eagerly awaiting the Friday night’s Mega Millions drawing, good luck! And in light of the equally electric Hunger Games mania, “May the odds be ever in your favor.”