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It had to take a whole lot of luck to win Tuesday night's big \$355 million Mega Millions jackpot drawing against astronomical odds.
Then, there's always the question of whether you should take the annuity or the much lower one-time payment? For the \$355 million jackpot, the annuity would pay \$13.6 million each year for the next 26 years, so you won't be able to spend all of your winnings at once. The jackpot grew to such a huge sum because Friday night's drawing failed to produce a winner for the multi-state lottery's top prize, which was estimated to be \$290 million. By Tuesday, the jackpot had reached \$355 million after 15 consecutive drawings that started Nov.
Mega Millions jackpots begin with \$12 million and roll over to the next drawing until there is a winner. Other smaller monetary prizes can range from \$2 to \$250,000, depending on how many numbers are matched. The largest Mega Millions jackpot ever won was \$390 million in March 2007, according to the Mega Millions website. Although the odds of winning Mega Millions' top prize are about 1 in 176 million, that hasn't stopped people from dreaming big.
Some Mega Millions players told ABC News they were picking numbers from birthdays to home addresses.
Mathematicians and lottery officials said that the odds of winning are always the same regardless of how many people play because they always draw from the same set of numbers. Five numbers are picked from a set of balls numbered 1 to 56 and one mega number is drawn from a set of balls numbered 1 to 46. Letting the computer choose your numbers or quick picks does not necessarily increase your chances of winning. Statistically, it doesn't matter and playing the same number time after time doesn't help you win any faster.
Experts also said it's a misconception that your chances are better if you live outside a big city. New York state leads the way with 23 Mega Millions winners and more than half of those winners came from New York City.

But some players such as seven-time lottery winner Richard Lustig have come up with their own winning method. Also, the huge jackpot means a bigger payout for matching all of the five winning numbers except the Mega. Campaign 2016Mother's Day: Phlunte Riddle candidate for State SenateI wanted to take a quick break from knocking on doors to wish all the moms out there Happy Mother’s Day for tomorrow.
City Buzz ColumnsCity Buzz: Crime and quality of life worries in BurbankCrime and quality of life worries in Burbank prompted a face-off between residents and some city officials last week at the Worshipwalk Church, 3310 West Magnolia Blvd.
Shout-outs and Call-outsShout out to a Burbank mom on Mother's DayHappy Mother’s Day to all the moms, especially working mothers like Burbank resident, Kaili Larssen.
Tonya Harris and husband Robert Harris of Portal, Ga., look at a pile of cardboard money at a press conference announcing him the winner of the Mega Millions jackpot of \$275 million. ATLANTA An iron worker and his wife presented the winning ticket for a \$275 million Mega Millions jackpot on Monday and said they ll use part of the windfall to replace their trailer home with a new house in coastal Georgia.Robert Harris said he picked the winning numbers from Friday s multistate drawing 7, 12, 13, 19 and 22, plus the Mega Ball number 10 by using his grandchildren s birthdays.
If you're feeling lucky, then you may want to purchase a ticket for the Mega Millions lottery jackpot, which currently stands at \$49 million. The overall odds of winning any prize are about 1-in-15, but the odds of winning the jackpot are about 1-in-259 million. Business is booming for Latino entrepreneurs, especially in Southern California, where the growth in the number of Hispanic-owned businesses (HOBs) has bloomed despite the recession and tough economic recovery. The road to "WWE Money in the Bank" continued in Virginia with the latest "WWE SmackDown" taping. WATCH: Barcelona Wins La Liga Title With Suarez Hat-Trick, But Whata€™s Next for Messi and Company? If you picked numbers 15, 47, 4, 25, 8 and mega number 42, out of all the people who lined up in 41 states and the District of Columbia, you did it.
Off the top, the lottery withholds 25 percent for federal taxes, and then another 6 or 7 percent for those who have state taxes, which vary by location.
You think, 'What am I going to do in my plane, where am I going to go, how big a house will I live in.' It's a level of fantasy we all engage in, somebody will win that, it could be you," said Emily Oster, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
It's all one giant computer system, so it doesn't matter," said DeFrancisco of the Georgia Lottery.

Several players, across the country, have done that and walked away with at least a million bucks lately.
She soon became a featured blogger on the site and discovered she had a knack for photography. No, Burbank hasn’t dropped into a pit of total despair, but it has taken some hits lately and that has spiked the concerns of many residents.
It s awesome, Harris, 47, told a room full of reporters after receiving the ceremonial big check from lottery officials. They could choose the "Cash Option" and receive a one-time, lump-sum payment of \$33 million, or they can choose the "Annual Payout" option, which provides annual payments over a 29-year period, according to the Mega Millions website. It has not been a lucky holiday season for Mega Millions players — especially for those  in California. She had a fire for justice within her that led her to leave the South at the age of 17 and then went on to raise three daughters while working two jobs.
Burbank Mayor, Bob Frutos, admitted at the February 9 city council meeting he had received numerous phone calls and emails about crime, especially gang violence, being on the rise in the Media City.
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Under new lottery rules established last October, the odds of winning the jackpot got tougher — jumped from 1 in 176 million to 1 in 259 million. Those changes mean the potential for larger jackpots, but also lowers the chances of winning the big prize. In addition, 26 lucky winners won the Match 4 + 1, which means they each walked away with \$5,000. Each \$5,000 lottery winner matched four out of five white Mega Millions winning numbers and the gold Mega Ball number. The other half was claimed by Elaine and Harold Messner, a couple from Cape May County in New Jersey.Mega Millions tickets are sold in California, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, Virginia and Washington state.

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