Mega Millions Jackpot (aka Hunger Games) hits $1.6 billion, but what are your odds of winning?

www.bloomberg.com

So how does the jackpot even work? As it seems, lottery jackpots in the US are getting larger because lottery officials changed the odds in recent years to lessen the chance of winning a jackpot, which then increased opportunity for top prizes to reach new heights, as reported by Bloomberg. "The theory was that bigger jackpots would draw more attention, leading more players to plop down $2 for a Mega Millions or Powerball ticket. The more tickets sold, the more the jackpots grow, leading to more players, etc." By Mega Millions changing the potential number of combinations in 2017, it resulted in the odds of winning going from 1-in-259 million to 1- in-302.5 million.

So what if you win the jackpot? First, don't count taking home anywhere close to $1.6 billion. If you decide to take the cash option, which was about $904 million (break me off a milli for the advice). After federal taxes and state deductions, which vary across the country, you may end up with around half the earnings. If you choose the annuity option, it guarantees you more money, and would be paid over 29 years, however, it does result in a higher tax bill than the cash out. #Cashmeoutside

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