Lotto mania is sweeping the nation as millions of Americans take to their nearest convenience store with $2 and a dream.
The Powerball jackpot has soared to an estimated $875 million, the third-largest in the game's history. The largest Powerball jackpot ever came last November, when a California resident cashed in on his $2.04 billion winning ticket.
The latest jackpot soared to a new high after no winning ticket was sold for the $750 million jackpot drawing Wednesday night. The next drawing will be on Saturday.
Nobody has won the jackpot since April 13, when the top prize was nearly $253 million. If someone gets lucky this next drawing, they will have the option of taking a $441.9 million one-time cash payout or collecting the full $875 million over the course of 29 years — minus taxes, of course.
Meanwhile, the Mega Millions jackpot has soared to an estimated $560 million, making it the fifth largest in game history. That's after no ticket matched all six numbers in the $500 million jackpot drawing Tuesday night.
It's just the seventh time in Mega Millions history that the jackpot has surpassed the $550 million mark. The largest ever came in 2018 when a South Carolina store sold the winning $1.5 billion ticket.
While your chances of hitting it big with the lottery are slim, Danielle Frizzi-Babb with the Ohio Lottery commission says it's still OK to dream.
"When you want to play these games, it's about the fun aspect of it," she told Scripps News. "It's about dreaming for a little bit about what you might be able to do with a big jackpot, and responsible gambling is the bottom line. You don't spend outside of your means."
To put your chances of winning into perspective, you actually have better odds of:
- Dying in a plane crash (1 in 11 million)
- Being struck by lightning — twice (1 in 9 million)
- Dying from a shark attack (1 in 3.7 million)
- Golfing a hole-in-one (1 in 12,500)
The odds of winning the current Powerball or Mega Millions jackpots is about 1 in 300 million. Good luck!
Powerball is played in 45 states, plus Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Mega Millions is offered in the same jurisdictions, excluding Puerto Rico.
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