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Mega Millions Website Crashes Amid Jackpot Frenzy

Plus, the AP explains why jackpots are getting so high
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 22, 2018 3:21 PM CDT
Jean Pierre fills out several Mega Millions lottery tickets for purchase at a convenience store Monday, Oct. 22, 2018, in Orlando, Fla.   (AP Photo/John Raoux)

(Newser) – With the Mega Millions jackpot at $1.6 billion—the largest lottery prize in US history—interest is, shall we say, high. So high, in fact, that the Mega Millions website briefly crashed Monday, Reuters reports. A rep for the Maryland Gaming Commission, which administers the site, says it was overloaded with visitors. It was back up as of this writing. Meanwhile, why are jackpots so high these days? Lottery officials have in recent years made the odds of winning a jackpot worse, which in turn leads to the top prizes going higher and higher, in hopes that those massive prizes would lead people to buy more tickets. Sales have in fact increased, the AP reports, but its handy explainer notes that there's a downside, too. Click for that and more, including just how quickly people have been snapping up Mega Millions tickets. (Read more Mega Millions stories.)

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