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Mega Millions Lottery by the numbers

Information verified correct on January 21st, 2017

There’s $540 million at stake this week. What could you do with that cash?

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Tuesday’s $454 million Mega Millions jackpot was not won, which means the jackpot will increase again to $540 million on Friday (July 8). Let’s explain that huge number with more numbers.

How likely are you to win the Mega Millions?

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The odds of hitting the jackpot are 1 in 258,890,850. That means the whole population of France, Germany, England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Spain would all have to play the lottery to generate just one jackpot winner.

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Or to look at it another way: if you played the lottery every day of your life from birth, you would have to live to be 709,290 years old to have one statistical chance of winning.

How big is the Mega Millions prize?

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The jackpot of $540 million is the 7th-largest in US history. Not only that, it’s larger than the gross domestic product of 8 countries: Micronesia, Tonga, São Tomé and Príncipe, Palau, the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Dominica and Tuvalu.

What could you spend the Mega Millions prize on?

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Winning the full jackpot would be enough to purchase 1,859 new houses in the United States based on the current median house sale price of $290,400, or 5 Playboy Mansions.

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If you won, you could purchase a 2016 Model S Tesla (approx $90,000), a Submariner Rolex watch ($19,000) and a houseboat (about $459,000) for every one of the 394 athletes in the 2016 US Olympics team – and still have about $316 million in spare cash.

So what if you don’t win the Mega Millions?

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In reality, you’re 217 times more likely to be struck by lightning in a given year than you are to win the lottery. Buying a ticket can be fun, but coming up with a savings and investment plan is a much more certain path to riches. so saving and investing your money is a much better financial plan.

Start with the basics: set a budget, create an automatic savings plan where some of your money is automatically transferred to your savings account at your chosen frequency, and set yourself a clear goal, like buying your own place within a decade. We can help you work out how much you’ll need to earn to achieve that goal across the US.

Pictures: Shutterstock. Main Mega Millions picture: karenfoleyphotography / Shutterstock.com. Playboy Mansion picture: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com. Tesla picture: Hadrian / Shutterstock.com.

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