Mega Millions Massive $400M Payoff Might Make For A Merry Christmas

OK Mega Millions fans, get ready for a mega payoff: the estimated jackpot for Friday’s drawing is a whopping $400 Million.

That’s the fifth-largest U.S. jackpot of all time. Of all time (channeling Kanye West).

More than 5 million tickets won prizes in Tuesday’s drawing, including five tickets that matched the first five numbers to each win $1,000,000. But no one won the big prize, which means Mega Millions keeps growing. That’s a good thing, right? Someone might have a very luck Friday the 13th this week.

Sure, Powerball is popular, but its $122 million jackpot is a few hundred millions shy of what Mega Millions has to offer, should you manage to snag that lucky six-number ticket. Should there be a single winner in Friday’s Mega Millions drawing, he or she will have the option to take the entire sum in the 30 annual payments or a lump sum somewhere in the neighborhood of $216.4 million.

That’s before taxes, of course.

And here’s a helpful hint: if you win Mega Millions, you might want to claim it.

CBS Miami reminds us that the jackpot has rolled over 20 times since the beginning of October. Of course, they also remind us that the odds of winning the jackpot are approximately one in 259 million (no pressure). The odds of winning any of the Mega Millions prizes are approximately 1 in 15.

“The strong sales of Mega Millions tickets mean more than just an exciting jackpot,” said Paula Otto, executive director of the Virginia Lottery and lead director for the Mega Millions group, via a Mega Millions press release. “They mean greater profits to benefit each state in which Mega Millions is played.”

Mega Millions hold the record for the single largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history, at $656 million from March 20, 2012. While this week’s Mega Millions jackpot might not be historical, just think about what might happen if it rolls over again.

Mega Millions is currently offered for sale in 45 venues: 43 U.S. states, plus Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Drawings are Tuesdays and Fridays at 11:00 pm Eastern Time. While the odds may have grown longer in October, one thing has yet to change: tickets still cost just $1 each.

What would you buy with your Mega Millions winnings?