On Friday night, one lucky winner will win the largest lottery jackpot in the world. An unprecedented rush on stores and online lottery retailers has boosted the Mega Millions payout to over $640 million dollars. The long lines to snap up lottery tickets around the country has pushed sales to more than $1.46 billion -- the biggest sales figure in lottery history.
Your chances of winning the Mega Millions jackpot is about 1 in 176 million -- or about as likely as being hit by a falling commercial airliner.
It would take $176 million to buy up every possible combination of numbers. Lottery hopefuls are competing with half the population of the United States for one jackpot.
If the winner chooses the cash option, he or she will take home $462 million in one lump sum. After federal tax withholding, that works out to about $300 million in the winner's bank account.
Not a bad return on a $1 dollar investment.