Did anyone win the $1 billion Mega Millions jackpot?
Friday’s drawing was the second-largest lottery prize in American history, topped only by a $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot in early 2016, and has generated a rush of interest across the nation. After Friday’s drawing, many took to the internet to find out if anyone happened to win the prize, even if they didn’t.
They will be in luck — no one won, so they’ll have a chance to try again on Tuesday for a prize expected to reach $1.6 billion.
As Business Insider noted, that might be a good thing for America’s newest billionaire, who will have a few more days to think about their exit strategy for coming forward.
The report noted that lottery winners will come under almost immediate scrutiny, especially for a prize so enormous.
“Once you’re announced as the winner, the sharks will start circling,” financial planner Kristen Euretig told the business magazine.
There is a chance that America will never know the identity of the Mega Millions $1.6 billion jackpot winner. Six of the participating states give the winner of the lottery the option to remain anonymous, though Forbes noted that there are a few other financial moves winners could take to remain anonymous. That includes creating a blind trust or what is known as a “trust within a trust,” a complicated plan that creates a shell organization that claims the prize instead of the actual winner. It was not clear if this was legal in every state, however.
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There is at least one way to guarantee a Mega Millions winner, though it would take a lot of money and even more time. As the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported in 2012, it is possible for someone to purchase all possible combinations, though it would require an investment of $176 million to cover every possible combination of numbers.
Of course, that would likely be impossible without a small army of people helping purchase the tickets, the report noted.
“But limitations abound. First, if it takes five seconds to fill out each card, you’d need almost 28 years just to mark the bubbles on the game tickets,” the report noted. “You’d also use up the national supply of special lottery paper and lottery-machine printing ink well before all your tickets could be printed out.”
So, probably not.
Those who want to find out if there’s a winner of the Mega Millions $1.6 billion jackpot will likely have to wait until at least Wednesday, when the winner from Tuesday night’s drawing will be revealed.