Grab your tickets and get ready because someone’s about to win a billion dollars. The Oct. 23 Mega Millions lottery – with a jackpot of an estimated $1.6 billion dollars – will go on at 11:00 PM ET so watch to see if you’ve won.
A person could buy a lot with $1.6 billion dollars. After failing to declare a winner on Oct. 19, the Mega Millions jackpot swelled to the biggest lotto payout in United States’ history. With so much on the line, all eyes will be glued to the screen at 11:00 PM ET, when those six lucky numbers are picked. Who will walk away with the grand prize? How many new millionaires will be made by the night’s end? There’s only one way to find out: tune into the live stream above when the magic hour rolls around.
If it seems that lottery jackpots have been larger than usual – the Powerball jackpot is currently at $620 million, with the next drawing on Oc.t 24 – there’s a reason for that. In October 2017, lottery officials made some changes, according to the Washington Post. They doubled ticket prices, and tweaked the formula that makes it easier to win smaller prizes but harder to hit the jackpot. In the old setup, Mega Millions players picked five numbers from 1 to 75, and a Mega number from 1 to 15. The odds to win the grand prize were 1 in 258,890,850. Now, players pick five numbers from 1 to 70, and a Mega number from 1 to 25. The odds of getting all numbers right are 1 in 302,575,350.
However, there’s a bit of a problem brewing: there are 302,575,350 possible number combinations, and lotto officials say they’re running out. By the time the numbers are picked tonight, lotto officials estimate 75% of all number combinations are purchased. That means 226,931,513 combinations will be bought. If, by chance, no one wins tonight, it’s possible that Mega Millions could run out of numbers with the next drawing.
Though the jackpot has broken a billion, whoever wins will take home…considerably less, according to CNBC. After the federal and state governments take their fair share in taxes, a person (assuming they take the lump sum amount instead of payments over 30 years) a single winner will take home $489.8 to 569.5 million. Still, that’s a lot of cash. Good luck!