Who wants to be a billionaire? Just about everyone.
Lottery officials estimate that 75 percent of all number combinations will be purchased in advance of Tuesday’s record-smashing $1.6 billion — yes, with a B — Mega Millions lottery drawing, according to The Washington Post.
That’s a lot of tickets, especially considering that there are 302,575,350 possible combinations, the outlet reported.
“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,” Gordon Medenica, lead director of the Mega Millions Group, told the Post in a statement. “It’s hard to overstate how exciting this is — but now it’s really getting fun.”
Previously, the highest Mega Millions jackpot was $656 million, claimed on March 20, 2012. Mega Millions has since changed the lottery’s formula, beginning in October 2017.
Before then, a Mega Millions ticket would consist of five numbers from 1 to 75 and one Mega number 1 to 15. Now, a Mega Millions ticket consists of five numbers from 1 to 70 and one Mega number 1 to 25, making it ‘easier’ to win smaller prizes, and harder to win the jackpot.
Mega Millions also doubled ticket prices to $2.
Of course, if no one wins Tuesday’s drawing, the jackpot will only continue to swell.
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Before a lottery winner can spend any money, they must need to decide whether to take the lump sum (estimated at $904 million) or the 26-year annuity (where the prize is paid in annual installments).
Then, the winner should create a plan with how they will manage the winnings.
“The biggest mistake I see is people who try to do this on their own right from the get-go,” Jason Kurland, a New York attorney who specializes in lottery winners told NBC News. “Those are the ones who put themselves out in the open, who can’t limit their exposure, and are now an easy target for people, whether it’s a bogus charity coming to you or someone with an investment that’s a [supposed] no-lose situation.”
Finally, the winner should decide how they want to spend the money.
“We talked about opening a school,” Californian Mik Gaspay told USA Today of his and his wife’s idea. “Obviously you could buy whatever you wanted, but what would be a worthwhile thing? It would be amazing to be able to create a homeless shelter, solutions, actually doing things for the community. It seems like just buying stuff would get so boring.’’
The Mega Millions drawing will take place Tuesday at 11p.m. ET.