CHICAGO (CBS) — Are you feeling lucky? The winning numbers for the largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history will be picked tonight.
The $1.6 billion Mega Millions drawing is at 10 p.m.
The Mega Millions lottery game is played in 44 states and several U.S. territories.
The record jackpot began growing in July, starting at a comparatively paltry $40 million. Week after week, the prize money kept growing as no one has chosen all six winning numbers, and more and more people have been plunking down cash while chasing their lottery dream.
The $1.6 billion jackpot translates to a one-time payout of $904 million before taxes, or 30-year installments that start at $24 million, and grow to more than $99 million by the final annuity.
With the odds of winning at 1 in 302 million for a single ticket, experts say you’re more likely to be elected President of the United States, or canonised as a saint.
Still, about half of the approximately 320 million people living in the U.S. are expected to play in today’s Mega Millions drawing.
By tonight, with so many people buying tickets, about 75 percent of all combinations likely will have been sold. If no one wins tonight, the jackpot could roll over to a mind-boggling $2 billion.