Friday's Mega Millions jackpot soars to $1 billion

Mega Millions $900M, Powerball $430M Jackpots Await This Weekend

Each of the 24 semi-weekly drawings have failed to produce a top victor since July 24, when an 11-member office pool in Santa Clara County, California, hit a $543 million jackpot.

University of Minnesota Mathematics Professor Andrew Odlyzko says there's only one way to be sure you'll win. Last year, they spent $72.97 billion on traditional lottery tickets, according to Gallup.

The US Mega Millions lottery reached almost $1 billion on Friday, the day of the drawing of what is now the second-largest lottery in US history.

Michigan Lottery said the majority of tickets for a jackpot are purchased on the day of the drawing.

If you do decide to go for it Odlyzko says there's only one way to be certain you and you alone take home the pot.

No, you can't just cash one of those oversized checks shown in all the victor photos. FALSE. Your odds of winning remain the same whether one person plays the game or a trillion. "So, if you're talking about small number three, and five and seven are typically liked, and six and eight are typically disliked", he said.

Trump sending Pompeo 'immediately' to meet Saudi king over missing journalist
Trump has threatened the kingdom with "severe punishment" if it is shown that Khashoggi was killed inside its Istanbul mission. Congress, which has long had a testy relationship with Saudi Arabia, have issued strong criticism of the kingdom over the case.

Melissa Labant, a tax policy expert at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, said winners should realize that while taxes initially are withheld when prizes are awarded, more money likely will be due at tax time as people suddenly find themselves in a higher tax bracket. "The way you want to think about it is that there are set amount of numbers in the game, and it's you against probability, not against the other players".

"If I am a victor, I am the only victor because I know you're not choosing the unpopular numbers", Odlyzko said.

The all-time highest Mega Millions jackpot is now even bigger.

"Just taking the stress and everything of this insane world we live in, just to dream that is worth it".

The prize is so big that Kurland said he will probably buy a ticket himself. The drawing is tomorrow.

Lottery officials recommend winners take a deep breath, put their winning ticket in a safe spot, and consult with a reputable financial planner before popping over to the lottery headquarters.

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