UPDATE 9:40PM: The winning numbers drawn on Friday, July 29 are 13, 36, 45, 57, 67 and Mega Ball 14.
EL PASO, Texas - On Friday, the numbers to win over $1 billion jackpot will be announced. The astonishing amount is now the second largest Mega Millions Jackpot ever. According to the Mega Millions website, the odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 302,575,350.
With those odds in mind, you are about 300 times more likely to get struck by lightning in a given year, about 430 times more likely to get struck by a meteorite, and about 43 times more likely to get eaten by a shark (in the U.S). These statistics come from an AccuWeather article found here.
In order to win the full amount, you will have to correctly predict the numbers of five white balls and one gold Mega Ball - or select the correct numbers through EasyPick/QuickPick. The next best option is five correct white ball numbers and an incorrect Mega Ball to win you $1 million.
ABC-7 spoke to EPCC Professor of Economics, Carlos Aguilar, to hear more on what options you have if you are tonight's lucky winner. You have two options if you win: cash it out in a lump sum, or get an annual payout.
"The majority of people who win the lottery take the cash option. Any individual would say, "if you offer them a dollar today or $1.20 tomorrow, they rather take the dollar," he said. Taking the lump sum will lead you to losing nearly half of the winnings due to taxes.
If you are thinking about doing an annual payout, you may want to think again, depending on your age.
Professor Aguilar recommended: "you can take it if you are younger, because you expect to live a rather long time. However, let's say you take that 30-year option, and you're 40 years old and you've been doing very well. And then,10 years later an unforeseen accident happens and you become deceased. Your lottery winnings end there." So perhaps if you are later in life, the lump sum might be the best option.
After you win, what comes next? Professor Aguilar emphasized the need for a good attorney and/or CPA. Then you can pay off your bills, debts, mortgages and even donate money to charity, to help save on the amount of taxes you have to pay.
The next drawing will be on Friday evening at 11 p.m. eastern time. Good luck to you all!