The Mega Millions jackpot has been increased again for today's draw. The Friday drawing of Mega Millions jackpot lots ended up in no winners whatsoever. And the jackpot was then raised to to $550 million due to no obvious winners. But Mega Millions has announced on Monday that it has again raised the jackpot amount from $550 million to $586 million for the draw on Tuesday, Dec. 17. The chances of someone snatching the loot are one in $316.5 million before taxes.
The law of probability has never been more applicable. In fact, the likelihood of an asteroid from outer space hitting someone is a thousand times greater than winning this lottery. That may be one reason the amount in dollars of the prize is so astronomical. But there are obviously some people who will be winners or at least come close to winning. The jackpots are established based on a forecast of ticket sales. In this case, the ticket sales have outpaced the forecast, resulting in the increase of the estimated jackpot amount.
Today's jackpot is the second largest jackpot in Mega Millions history and the fourth largest jackpot in North America. The largest Mega Millions jackpot was the world record-breaking $656 million prize, which was won in March 2012. This prize of $656 was divided among three winners. Most of the chances of winning this lottery are stacked against the majority though. The law of chance rules and so getting the amount you spent back is a one in fifteen proposition.
"This is an exciting week for the Arizona Lottery, not only because Mega Millions has the second largest jackpot in the game's history, but also because Arizona had a $1 million Powerball second prize winner Saturday night," said Karen Bach, director of budget, products and communications for the Arizona Lottery. "The Mega Millions second prize is now $1 million as well, so we expect to have more Arizona millionaires in the coming months."
The Mega Millions jackpot started growing on Oct. 1. since then, prizes of over $2.8 million awarded in Arizona alone. This prize money includes one winner for $250,000, three winners for $10,000, and 13 winners for $5,000. Last Mega Millions drawing had more than 244,324 winners in Arizona alone.
It is a gamble alright. And where there will be a golden winner there will be millions upon millions of leaden losers who will not be so happy. It has been found though that winning lotteries can be quite stressful. So the losing parties at least have that as an alibi and reassurance.