Mega Millions Mania
Sat, 31 Mar 2012 03:15:34 GMT —
$640 million dollars is up for grabs Friday night in the biggest lottery jackpot ever. Americans in 42 states and Washington DC are lining up for their chance to become a mega millionaire.
From Los Angeles to New York, people waited for hours just to plunk down two dollars for a chance at that mega prize. Others bought hundreds, even thousands of tickets.
In Myrtle Beach, several people were grabbing their last minute tickets.
"I brought probably about 40," says Charistina Stortes, whose visiting from Columbus, Ohio.
Chantell Stanley of North Myrtle Beach bought two. "Figured I don't ever play so why not throw my hat in"
"I bought 30 tickets tonight," Lane Ross said. "A group of my friends and I went together and we bought the tickets."
Gary Grief, the Executive Director of the Texas Lottery Commission told ABC they are equally pumped up.
"We are all going thru something that we have never seen in the history of the lottery. This is a world record!" He said.
Texas is one of a handful of states with no state taxes on lottery winnings. If a mega millions winner came from South Carolina, after federal and a 7 percent state tax, they could get $16,738,462 totaling $435,200,012 after 26 years or a lump sum of $314,160,000.
Back on January 27th, the mega millions jackpot was a mere $12 million, since then it has grown and grown after 18 consecutive drawings without anyone picking the winning numbers.
With so many people buying into the ticket frenzy, where does all the money go?
Each state is a little different, but for every dollar ticket you buy, about half of that, 50 cents goes to the big jackpot. 9 cents are kept by the lottery, 6 cents go to the seller behind the counter, and the rest goes to the states.
The odds of picking the winning numbers are 1 in 176 million. There is a way to guarantee you pick the winner: by selecting every available combination of six digits. Thing is, that would cost $176 million and take 28 years to fill out the tickets.
By the way, the winning numbers were 2-4-23-38-46, Mega Ball 23.