AP

$1.1B Mega Millions jackpot among largest prizes ever

Jul 28, 2022, 11:29 AM | Updated: 6:53 pm

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — At over $1 billion, the Mega Millions jackpot is among the largest lottery prizes ever up for grabs, making it the latest focus of lotteries that have been conducted in the U.S. and around the world for centuries.

Only two prizes have grown larger than the massive jackpot that could be won Friday night. Other lotteries elsewhere around the globe offer smaller payouts, though in other ways they are more integrated into life in their countries.

“There are a ton of lotteries throughout the world,” said Bill Coley, president of the Institute of Responsible Gaming, Lotteries and Sports at Miami University. “It’s the mystiques of mathematics. You can take a nominal fee and give a chance to build a revenue stream of a billion dollars for potentially one individual. It’s pretty exciting.”

Lotteries in the U.S. initially mirrored similar games in Europe, and in 1776 one was created to help fund the Revolutionary War.

Lotteries remain popular in Europe. The Eurojackpot game paid a $120 million euro ($121.9 million) prize just last week to someone in Denmark, and a player in the United Kingdom recently won a $230 million euros ($233.6 million) Euromillions prize.

Arjan van’t Veer, the secretary general of the European Lotteries Association, noted there also are numerous national lotteries.

Among the most celebrated is Spain’s El Gordo (The Fat One).

Although it isn’t held until Dec. 22, a large promotion campaign began July 5. The effort always includes promotional videos, such as one this summer featuring a know-it-all who is exposed as a know-nothing because he doesn’t know where tickets are sold.

The U.S. Mega Millions and Powerball games can offer bigger individual prizes, but El Gordo’s 2.4 billion euros ($2.4 billion) is the biggest game for total prizes. About 70% of the lottery’s proceeds pay for prizes, with the remainder going to the government.

The top-prize is 4 million euros ($4 million). But the standard ticket bought by people is 20-euro “decimo,” or one-tenth of a full ticket, so that people with the winning number on their décimo get 400,000 euros ($406,340), or about 330,000 euros ($335,268) after taxes.

Spain established the national lottery as a charity in 1763 during the reign of King Carlos III. Despite wars and other political and economic crises, the lottery has never been suspended.

Purchasing and sharing decimos — especially in the run-up to Christmas — is a tradition among families, friends, co-workers and in bars and sports and social clubs. People line up, even in the cold and rain, outside lottery offices, especially those that have sold winning tickets in the past.

After the winning numbers are announced, televised street and bar celebrations follow, with people dancing and singing with uncorked bottles of sparkling wine.

There also are numerous large lotteries in Asia, such as the Japan Jumbo Draw as well as Japan’s Loto 6 and Loto 7, and the Ultra Lotto in the Philippines.

David Schwartz, a professor and gaming historian at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, noted that lotteries have long histories throughout the world, in part because they are simple to play and offer rare but potentially huge winnings.

“The driving force behind lotteries is that one ticket isn’t that expensive but you have a chance for a huge, huge payoff,” Schwartz said. “I think people have an understanding there are pretty slim odds, but on the other hand, somebody has to win.”

Visitors to the U.S. are welcome to play lottery games like Mega Millions, and for years residents of Canada and Mexico who live along the borders have made the short trip to buy tickets. There also are options to buy tickets online through private companies, but U.S. lottery officials says people do so at their own risk.

And keep in mind, Ohio Lottery spokesman Michael Bycko said, that people who aren’t U.S. residents are still on the hook for federal and possibly state taxes, depending on where they play.

___

Giles reported from Madrid.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Arizona will not approve new housing construction on the fast-growing edges of metro Phoenix that r...

Associated Press

Arizona Senate passes plan to manage rural groundwater, but final success is uncertain

A plan to manage rural groundwater passed the Arizona Senate amid concerns about the availability of sufficient water for future generations.

1 day ago

A woman pauses while shopping at a Kohl's store in Clifton, N.J., Jan. 26, 2024. On Thursday, Feb. ...

Associated Press

Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge picked up last month in sign of still-elevated prices

An inflation gauge favored by the Federal Reserve increased in January, the latest sign that the slowdown in U.S. consumer price increases is occurring unevenly from month to month.

2 days ago

This undated image provided by Mikel Desmond shows his brother Marcus Tessier, who turned up in Dem...

Associated Press

Missing teen with autism found in New Mexico, about 200 miles away from his Arizona home

A missing teen with autism has been found in New Mexico — about 200 miles away from his home in southern Arizona.

2 days ago

A newly released report on last year’s fatal crash involving a pickup truck and a group of bicycl...

Associated Press

Report suggests steering of vehicle that caused fatal Goodyear bicycle crash worked fine

A new report on last year’s fatal Goodyear bicycle crash has cast doubts about the driver’s claim the vehicle’s steering locked up.

3 days ago

Israeli Embassy...

Associated Press

US airman dies after setting himself ablaze outside Israeli Embassy in Israel-Hamas war protest

An active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force has died after he set himself ablaze outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C.

5 days ago

Biden and Trump to visit Mexico border Thursday immigration...

Associated Press

Biden and Trump both plan trips to the Mexico border Thursday, dueling for advantage on immigration

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will make dueling trips to the U.S-Mexico border on Thursday.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

$1.1B Mega Millions jackpot among largest prizes ever