Oct. 19--Millions of Americans likely will stop what they're doing and hold their breath at exactly the same time Friday evening.
It'll happen at 8 p.m. PT when the Mega Millions drawing takes place. You can watch it happen on the Mega Millions website or by downloading the app.
The prize has now reached a whopping $1 billion, seeing as no one has hit the jackpot since July 24. That makes it the second-largest lottery prize in U.S. history.
The ticket-buying has become a frenzy around the country as the jackpot has increased to eye-popping amounts. The odds of winning, of course, are even more eye-popping: one in 302.5 million, reports USA Today.
What would you do with $1 billion? That's the wrong question. Almost all winners take the cash option, which is around $565 million for the current Mega Millions. The winner, if there is a winner tonight, will see taxes cut that nearly in half. There's also an annuity option, which The Associated Press points out "guarantees more money, but it's paid over 29 years and also would result in a hefty tax bill."
-- Douglas Perry
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