Almost a billion dollars at stake in MegaMillions, Powerball drawings

Almost a billion dollars at stake in MegaMillions, Powerball drawings

Stateline lottery players see something they have never seen before, not one but two jackpots totaling more than a billion dollars.

The question is how many of them will be claimed.

Lunchtime at the Riverside Travel Center here sees a lot of in-and-out traffic, and today most of the vehicles in the parking lot had MS license plates. At the end of October of past year, the lottery upped the minimum payout from $15 million to $40 million. He collects data from every state lottery commission for a lottery app he runs, and his data shows there were $2.89 billion in unclaimed lottery prizes in the 12 months ending June 2017.

The jackpot for Mega Millions is this high because prices went from $1 to $2 a ticket in October. The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot is only one-in-around-302 million.

More news: Khloe Kardashian is hallway through picking a name for her unborn baby

The winning numbers will be announced Saturday night at 9:59 p.m. That's why Nevadans often flock to California or Arizona to buy tickets.

There was no grand prize victor in Tuesday's drawing.

"I bought 20-something dollars worth of merchandise", he said as he held a brown bag of items he picked up while across the state line. Powerball odds are one-in-about 292 million. People will lose a winning ticket or put it aside and forget to turn it in during the allowed time. Those changes also reduced the likelihood of winning the top prize on a given ticket. The oldest unclaimed ticket is a $68 million victor purchased in NY on Christmas Eve of 2002. Big winners nearly always collect their winnings, although many do it through trusts or other means to keep their identity under wraps.

Of course, unclaimed jackpots are still the exception.

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