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Almost $1 billion up for grabs in Mega Millions, Powerball jackpots

06 January 2018

What's wrong with the minimum $15 million under the old Mega Millions system, the one with fewer numbers and a better chance of winning?

Whether you're planning to keep the winnings for yourself, or maybe you're part of an office pool, Donna Bragg with the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery says, a lot more than just the winners reap the benefits of the lottery in Arkansas.

Those unclaimed prizes range from $31 million for a ticket purchased in Queens, New York in August of 2006, to $77 million for a winning ticket purchased in Georgia in June 2011. It seemed everybody was shelling out big bucks, desperately trying to become an instant billionaire in this weekend's Powerball and Mega Millions drawings. "Everything is by chance these days so, you gotta be in it to win it", says Lynn. The insane jackpots mark the third time in lottery history that the two combined have reached nearly one billion dollars.

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That means that one ticket-holder (there could be more than one winner) will get more than $400 million if he or she had the right numbers. "Obviously the tax would take quite a bit of it, but the rest of it, I would give away to charity", echoed Travers. Spread the money around.

The largest Powerball jackpot to date was a $1.6bn (£1.2bn) payout, split three ways in January 2016.

At stake in Friday's 11 p.m. EST (0400 GMT Saturday) Mega Millions drawing is a $450 million prize, the fourth-largest in its history with a $281 million payout if the victor selects a lump-sum payment.

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"I figure taxes and stuff, it's worth it when it gets up to $300 million or so", said Nate Boos, bought lottery ticket.

"We do have faithful customers who come here all the time", said Jenny Jones, assistant manager at the Riverside Travel Center. We don't always hit the jackpot, but we did once in Arkansas. The odds of winning both are one in 75.6 quadrillion.

It is another case of not leaving well enough alone.

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Almost $1 billion up for grabs in Mega Millions, Powerball jackpots