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Try your luck – Mega Millions jackpot hits $900 million in US

/ 07:37 AM October 18, 2018

A woman prepares a slip for the Mega Millions lottery jackpot on October 16, 2018, in Los Angeles, California. Today’s Mega Millions jackpot is at least $900 million and combined with a high Powerball jackpot the total winnings could top $1 billion. AFP

NEW YORK, United States – Your chances of winning are slim to none, but it might be worth investing a few dollars in the Mega Millions contest in the United States before Friday’s drawing.

The prize? $900 million, after no one won on Tuesday night.

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It would be the largest jackpot in global lottery history if claimed by a single winner.

In 2016, a $1.6 billion Powerball prize was split three ways by ticket holders from California, Florida and Tennessee. Each took home $528.8 million.

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The previous largest single jackpot of $758.7 million was won last year by Mavis Wanczyk, a 53-year-old mother of two from Massachusetts.

Mega Millions is available in 44 US states, the capital Washington and the US Virgin Islands.

The game, which was created in 2002, has seen changes over the years that have reduced the chances of winning, meaning bigger and bigger jackpots.

If someone picks the winning six numbers, they can either claim the jackpot in 30 payments over 30 years — the so-called annuity option — or take a reduced amount in a lump sum.

On Friday, that would be a total of $513 million — before taxes, according to the Mega Millions website.

The likelihood of that happening? One in 302.5 million.

And don’t forget: US lottery winnings are taxable at the federal level, unlike in many other countries. Some states also impose local taxes.

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Spain’s annual Christmas lottery — “El Gordo,” or “The Fat One” — has several times offered a jackpot of several billion euros, but it aims to share the wealth, with thousands of numbers getting a prize. /cbb

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