Mega Millions jackpot swells to $400 million

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Friday night's Mega Millions drawing has grown to a record $400 million.

It's the game's second largest jackpot on record and the fifth largest jackpot in United States history.

Across the country, people have been rushing to buy tickets in hopes of landing an early Christmas present.

The manager of the GATE gas station at Southside Blvd. & Touchton Rd. said sales haven't picked up quite yet.

She said tickets usually sell faster on the day of record-setting jackpot drawings.

The big prize has been rolling over continuously since October 1 since no one has matched the right numbers.

Your odds of winning Friday night are 1 in 259 million. By comparison, your odds of being hit by lightning are about 1 in 700,000.

First Coast News will bring you the winning numbers during its 11 p.m. newscast.

If no one wins, the jackpot will rollover again and smash even more lottery records.

If one person wins, they'd take home about $145 million after taxes.

Financial and lottery experts offer these five tips to whoever comes into a large sum of money:

  • Sign your ticket and make a copy of it. Put your original in a safe deposit box.

  • Get help. Hiring a lawyer and financial planner are highly recommended.
  • Stay anonymous if possible. Some states require you to come forward publicly, but experts say don't if you don't have to. If you do, they suggest changing your phone numbers.
  • Take the lump sum amount. Because of taxes, you typically end up with more money in the long-term versus taking payment installments.

And, don't forget to breathe. Experts say you need to think hard about how money will change your life.


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