$ 1B Mega Millions prize as a result of long odds, slow sales

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The jackpot for the Mega Millions lottery game has gone ahead of Friday night’s drawing by nearly $ 1 billion, after more than four months a winner was partially blamed on the coronovirus epidemic due to bad luck, poor odds and low play .

This is only the third time a lottery jackpot has grown so much, but much has changed since the last time there was such a huge prize for graves in 2018. The chances of winning the jackpot remain the same – incredibly small – but for a variety of reasons fewer people are playing Mega Millions or Powerball, the two lottery games in most of the country.

And the huge Mega Millions prize and the $ 731.1 million Powerball jackpot received sales for the game on Wednesday from a ticket sold in Maryland, with Maryland Lottery Director Gordon Maidenica saying: “We’re not out of the woods yet.”

Medenica acknowledged that sales were dramatically lower before the pandemic, and they moved forward in the spring and summer as well.

After a peak in October 2018, Medenica said that while talking among lottery officials about jackpot fatigue, sales of big lottery games fell by almost 50%. Sales of Mega Millions and Powerball continued to decline after the virus was hit with other lottery games, but scratch tickets and other improvised games rebounded later in the year, while national game sales stalled.

In response to falling sales, officials updated the National Games to reduce jackpots from $ 40 million to $ 20 million and changed the rules about guaranteeing a minimum increase between drawings. The moves made fiscal sense but allowed the jackpots to grow more slowly, causing a further decline in sales, as shown by the record 37 draws without a winner, which was taken to reach the current Mega Millions jackpot. Still lower than the all-time high.

“That’s why it takes so many rolls to reach a high jackpot level,” Maidenica said.

Those that have not changed are.

By design, Mega Millions and Powerballs are relatively generous in awarding small dollars and lottery officials claim that there is almost one in 24 chances of winning something. But to make the giant jackpot, the authorities must be completely unhappy about paying the jackpot.

It is difficult to beat one of 292.2 million for Powerball or 302.5 million for Mega Millions.

Portland State University Professor of Mathematics and Statistics Steven Bleuler said that to give people an idea of ​​their possibilities, you need a swimming pool 40 feet (12.2 m) wide, 120 feet (36.6 m) long and 5 feet (1.5 m). Should be wide. Deep, loaded with M & Ms, only one of which is green. To win, a player must do so by blindfolding and jumping around to find the same green candy.

Andrew Swift, a professor of mathematics at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, puts it this way: Your chances of picking two oysters and finding pearls in both are almost twice as likely as winning the lottery jackpot.

Still, someone always wins eventually, and it happened again after Wednesday night’s Powerball drawing when a single ticket sold at a convenience store in the small community of Lonaconing, Maryland, collided with all six numbers. The winner can take a $ 716.3 annuity paid over 30 years or a cash prize of $ 546.8 million.

What comes next is unclear. Some states are banking on an increase in online games, but 10 states are seeing an increase in shopping sales on computer and phone apps, with such purchases being a relatively small percentage of overall revenue.

“The current roll has revived the game as it is designed to,” Maidenica said. “Whether we continue to consider making changes or not is to see.”

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