Numbers drawn for record $640m Mega Millions prize


Mega Millions prize numbers are drawn for the $640m prize

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Lottery fever has gripped the US as a draw took place for a $640m (£400m) Mega Millions prize, the biggest jackpot in world history.

The numbers drawn on Friday night were 2, 4, 23, 38, 46, Mega Ball 23.

Forty-two states took part in the draw. US officials said one of the winning tickets was bought in Maryland, and that there could be other winners.

Earlier, queues snaked out of shops from coast to coast with some punters snapping up tickets by the bushel.

The prize money has been swelling since 24 January, with no winner matching all five numbers in the last 18 draws.

The prize had stood at $540m before Friday's announcement. Lottery officials earlier estimated that customers would have spent some $1.5bn on tickets by the time of the draw.

Winning numbers

  • 2, 4, 23, 38, 46
  • Mega Ball 23

A jackpot winner could choose between receiving the full amount of $640m in 26 annual payments (more than $24m a year) or an instant cash option of more than $460m.

'Ticket-buying frenzy'

The largest jackpot to be paid out until now was a $390m Mega Millions prize that was split between two winners in 2007.

One hopeful ticket-buyer, Allsaints Macauley, a 64-year-old taxi driver in Washington DC, told the BBC that if he won he would drive his vehicle to one of the capital's busiest intersections and leave it behind to be towed away.

"I'd skip town with my children to a place where the temperature will not go below 86 [F] and just hang out.

How to spend your jackpot

  • Try to stay anonymous. If your identity gets out, it can be hard to escape the attention - and those who want some of your fortune.
  • Take the money over time - 98% of jackpot winners choose instant payout options, but most people run through that money in five years or less. You can make better use of the money, and plan better, by taking the prize in annual installments. It can sometimes also be better from a tax perspective to receive the prize over time.
  • Find a financial adviser, or ideally a set of advisers, who have experience working with assets as valuable as your prize. Many winners ask their friends or people they know to help them manage their money, but they are not equipped to help you make the best decisions.
  • Use some, or preferably most of the money to give back to society. The happiest winners are usually the ones who used their money for public good.

"The guys on Wall Street invest my trust, so my kids will never have to drive a cab or wash dishes like I did."

Also in the queue was Mike Notarangelo, 52, unemployed, who said: "I'd set up my daughter, take care of my parents, and choose some charities to get some of the money.

"After that, I would travel the world. See all those places I've never been to."

In California, some shops have been experiencing a ticket-buying frenzy, after lottery officials in the Golden State revealed which outlets have previously sold the most winning tickets.

Ryan King, a 33-year-old construction worker, told the Los Angeles Times: "I've already spent the money in my head, 300 times."

The Las Vegas Sun reports that people have been driving to a shop on Nevada's border with California to buy tickets.

Some $2,600 of tickets were sold to one buyer at a cafe in the state of Arizona, reports the Associated Press.

Even the relatively wealthy have apparently not been immune to the lottery bug.

NBA basketball player Chris Singleton, who earns a reported $1.5m playing for the Washington Wizards, said on Twitter that he planned to splurge $10,000 on tickets.

Start Quote

You are about 50 times as likely to get struck by lightning as to win the lottery”

End Quote Mike Catalano Mathematics professor

The Kansas City Star that the winnings could buy a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, a private island near Phuket, Thailand, or a fleet of 200 Bugatti sports cars.

But the odds are stacked overwhelmingly against any one person matching the six-ball jackpot.

Lottery officials say the chance of winning is just one-in-176 million. Tickets cost $1.

Mathematics professor Mike Catalano of Dakota Wesleyan University told the Associated Press news agency: "You are about 50 times as likely to get struck by lightning as to win the lottery, based on the 90 people a year getting struck by lightning."

Based on other US averages, a person is 8,000 times more likely to be murdered, or 20,000 times more likely to die in a car accident than to win the lottery, he added.

The states of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Alaska, Hawaii, Wyoming, Utah and Nevada are not participating in the draw.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 96.

    Invest $1m in my business I suppose.. but imagine how many lives you could save with that!

  • rate this

    Comment number 95.

    @93: some fine young women are attracted to money. Before you had money you were an average Joe but know they want to be with you (and sleep with you as well) as long as you keep em happy they will always be by your side until the money runs out

  • rate this

    Comment number 94.

    Wow... With that sort of money you could have dinner with David Cameron every night...

  • rate this

    Comment number 93.

    I'd test the theory that beautiful young women are attracted to money, I'd be very diligent in my work.

  • rate this

    Comment number 92.

    Why all the hoopla about this week's $640 million Mega Lottery Jackot being the world's largest? After all, we already have a few billionaires around the world. The old cliche that money cannot buy happiness may be true, but one would be pressed to find anyone on this planet who would say they rather be poor than rich.

  • rate this

    Comment number 91.

    Hmmm 460 million, I think I would save it up until I could afford to fill my car up.

  • rate this

    Comment number 90.

    Money does not bring happiness. Whoever won it will be happy for a short while and then experience long term unhappiness. It is best to share the wealth amongst total strangers like myself:)

  • rate this

    Comment number 89.

    I got a friend in the US to get me a ticket. He even scanned it and emailed me the picture! It was fun, quite a bit of jolly banter was had. Time to move on.

  • rate this

    Comment number 88.

    Odds of winning were 1 in 176 million, tickets were $1 and jackpot was $640 million. If it was logistically possible to buy every possible ticket and no one else matched the winning numbers you would profit $464 million (£290 million).

  • rate this

    Comment number 87.

    I'd spend a 1/3 on wine women and song and another 1/3 on gambling.. I'll probably just squander the rest

  • rate this

    Comment number 86.

    If I won all that money, I'd want to protect it

    The first thing I'd do is attend evening classes to learn as much about finance.

    By day, I'd attend Accountancy courses.

    And at weekends I'd go on away-breaks learning about statisics, actuarial studies and fiscal analytical equations for monetary policy......

    I'd also eat bread and water and keep the heating down low.....

  • rate this

    Comment number 85.

    Great----but I would prefer to have enough to make me very comfortable without the need to work hard looking after the money. No doubt I could afford accountants etc to do that but there's still the fag of having to recruit, and oversee what they do. Give it away? Still a lot of work determining which charity deserves what-- Its not enough to put all the problems of the world to rights.

  • rate this

    Comment number 84.

    If I just happened to manage one of these mega-lotteries I would limit the jackpot to £1 million but change it so punters would far greater chances of winning it, so a lot more winners can enjoy a complete change in their lives. $460m or £100m is ridiculous. Why not have 460 $1m winners ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 83.

    "Visa, Mastercard and Discover have warned that credit card holders' personal information could be at risk after a security breach." (BBC)

    Wikileaks activists loking for the winner's account?

  • rate this

    Comment number 82.

    Chorley Lass

    'To win that amount of money would be the stuff that nightmares are made of - sounds great BUT everybody would be on your case telling you what to do. I shudder at the thought of it.'

    Only if you were stupid enough to go public.

  • rate this

    Comment number 81.

    I doubt that it would be enough, but I'd open an ethical bank that paid normal salaries and no bonuses and see how many of the current lot I could cause to apply for job seekers allowance. I am sure I could find people who would be delighted to work for me under those conditions.

  • rate this

    Comment number 80.

    30.Proletarian Revolutionary
    That's their life ruined.

    Unlike those who enjoy their lives up to the hilt on pensions allocated by the regime of KGB general Putin. Or president Hujintao.

    [have I mentioned pathetic inept losers who have post under a dozen of different nicknames just to stay afloat?]

  • rate this

    Comment number 79.

    I would buy arsenal football club then i could sack arsen wenger as hes useless! I would give a lot away to charity and then spend like mad!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 78.

    Money isn't the only source of happiness, indeed look at the richest men in the world like Buffet, Gates, Branson, etc, they keep on working precisely ecause they know what a tedious existence it is too have so much money you can do absolutely anything you want. It is our attitude to life rather than to money which is most important. Measure your life in achieved goals (kids, career,etc) not ££s

  • rate this

    Comment number 77.

    What I've never understood is why people come out in droves to buy lottery tickets when the prize is so obscenely huge. Is a paltry 1 or 2 million not worth buying an ordinary ticket?


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