$940 million Mega Millions lottery marks ‘golden age of jackpot’

Tonight, $940 million is up for grabs in the latest Mega Millions jackpot drawing. This is a number that is enough to help beat the January blues and possibly, like Charlie’s grandfather on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, get us all out of bed and into a corner store or gas station in hopes of buying a little (or a lot) of luck.

It’s hard to conceptualize a number that high, and that’s part of the point. The massive winnings—the sixth-largest jackpot in history—are part of the “golden age of jackpots,” as the Associated Press called it. It’s not just Mega Millions that puts more on the line; These days, lotteries are more mega than usual.

November’s Powerball prize is the biggest jackpot in history: a record-breaking one $2.04 billion. The amount increased after 40 consecutive draws without a win. And last summer, it was over $1 billion is in line for the third largest Mega Millions jackpot in the country.

All the biggest jackpots in US history are recent, all the way back 2016. As the AP explains, Mega Millions and Powerball officials implemented rule changes in the mid-2010s that made Jackpots are hard to win, thus increasing the jackpot amount over time and attracts more people to buy lottery tickets in hopes of beating the odds. Powerball also introduced a third weekly drawing last year, making the jackpot even higher as more people entered and lost.

The current Mega Millions jackpot, last drawn on Tuesday, has seen 23 drawings without a grand prize winner. Maybe because of the possibility of winning one in 302.6 million.

That’s about the same odds as July’s $1 billion-plus Mega Millions jackpot: one in 302.5 million. as It’s fortune Chris Morris Point out, the US population is just under 333 million. Even the possibility of being struck by lightning better than winning the lottery.

The ‘golden age of the jackpot’ offered financial escapism

A looming recession and rising inflation have many people looking for financial security these days. Despite a relatively strong job market last year, Americans should dip into their pandemic savings as the experience economy returns and the cost of living rises. Even so inflation is slowly fallinglow consumer confidence, the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index found: In October only 17.5% of consumers said business conditions were good, and 23.3% said they expected conditions to worsen in six months.

Even the upper middle class felt it financial worries. “For some households that are doing well and doing better financially than in 2019, they are still seeing a reduction in the financial buffer,” said Wendy Edelberg, senior fellow at Brookings. told luck last spring.

it fueled by a passion of winning the lottery, which Americans hope will save them from their economic despair and help revive the middle class. golden age. Interest in the Powerball jackpot season is so high that local broadcasters are reporting frustration with glitches in ticket machines, possibly linked to a flood sales, It’s fortune Steve Mollman reported. (Although many people bought tickets, they buy some of it for each drawing than they did about six years ago.)

“Lotteries have become an alternative mechanism for social mobility—a way to achieve financial success in an economy that is increasingly lacking in opportunity,” Jonathan Cohen, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Virginia who completed a dissertation on American lotteries, told Bloomberg back in 2018. “There is an understandable belief that the economy is rigged and your best chance to make it and become rich is through the lottery, not through your work or savings.”

Not that any of these jackpots are actually as big as they seem. If winners choose the cash payout instead of the 29-year annuity, which they usually do, they will take home less. If someone wins tonight’s Mega Millions and does so, they will bank at least half of the projected prize in $483.5 million. That’s all before taxes, that is varies by state.

But that’s still a pot of gold—even if it’s harder to strike gold later.

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