The most talked about game in the lottery for weeks has been the Mega Millions and the game's ever-increasing jackpot after weeks of drawings that hasn't yielded a grand prize winner.
The game's jackpot has now soared to a historic $1.1 billion, making it among the largest jackpots ever. The latest jackpot, which could see a winner by Friday, puts it up on the international stage with the likes of Spain's El Gordo, which is consistently seen as the largest game in Europe for total prizes.
Bill Coley, president of the Institute of Responsible Gaming, Lotteries and Sports at Miami University told the Associated Press that while there are many lotteries around the world, “It’s the mystiques of mathematics. You can take a nominal fee and give a chance to build a revenue stream of a billion dollars for potentially one individual. It’s pretty exciting.”
With a prize that large, winners can be sure they'll find they're making many new friends. In many states throughout the U.S., lottery winners are allowed to remain anonymous. States like Mississippi say they won't disclose a winner's identity without their express consent.
And in Kansas, winners can request that they remain anonymous.
The chances of winning are very tough. Unfortunately, there's about a 1 in 302.6 million chance that you will.
David Schwartz, a professor and gaming historian at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas explained why people still play, saying, “The driving force behind lotteries is that one ticket isn't that expensive but you have a chance for a huge, huge payoff," he said.
“I think people have an understanding there are pretty slim odds, but on the other hand, somebody has to win," said Schwartz.