A $1 billion jackpot for Friday night’s Mega Millions caused a big spike in lottery ticket sales. By late afternoon, Massachusetts stores were selling approximately 10,000 per minute.
“This is going to be the highest Mega Millions jackpot in history of the game,” said Christian Teja, spokesman for the Massachusetts State Lottery.
With the record high jackpot, the cash option on the prize is now an estimated $565.6 million. However, the odds are not so great.
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“One in 300 million. If you’re going to gamble, you might as well know the odds,” said George Recck, a lecturer in Babson College’s math and science division.
For decades, the numbers expert has played and studied the lottery, picking up helpful strategies to apply along the way.
“You want to pick the higher, less popular numbers, numbers that people might consider unlucky,” Recck explained. “Because if you do hit, you’re less likely to share the prize.”
Friday’s drawing will be the 25th since the jackpot was last hit July 24, when a $543 million jackpot was won by a group of 11 co-workers on a ticket sold in California.
Saturday, the Powerball jackpot will be another big sell, reaching an estimated $430 million. Last year, a Chicopee woman won a $750 million jackpot, which was the largest Powerball jackpot ever won on a single ticket.
“This is an exciting time for our customers and our retail partners and we encourage people to keep the experience of playing these and other lottery games fun by playing responsibly,” said Michael Sweeney, Executive Director of the Massachusetts State Lottery.
Customers can purchase lottery tickets until 10:45 p.m. Friday ahead of the Mega Millions drawing.