So What's the Chance No One Wins $1.6B Tonight?

The Mega Millions drawing takes place at 11pm EDT
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2018 9:04 AM CDT
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A lottery player buys Mega Millions lottery tickets at a news stand in Philadelphia, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
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(Newser) – It's safe to say some Americans will probably stay up past their bedtimes Tuesday night. The six winning Mega Millions numbers will revealed to the world at 11pm EDT, in what is officially the biggest jackpot in US history—sort of. New York Magazine explains that while the $1.6 billion drawing does top the $1.586 billion Powerball drawing that took place on January 13, 2016, it's smaller than that sum in one way: the lump sum. Blame the Fed. The interest rate for the prize payout is 3.45%; in 2016, it was 2.84%. That means a Mega Millions winner who opts to take the cash pay-out would walk with $904 million, versus $983 million in 2016. Here's everything else you should know:

  • So what's the likelihood no one will win tonight? The AP does the math: The odds of winning are 1 in 302.5 million, which simply means there are 302.5 million potential number combinations. Last Friday, about 59% of those possible combinations were sold; the expectation is that the figure will rise to 75% for Tuesday's drawing, which would mean a 25% chance of no winner.

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