Mega Millions Jackpot Raised to $640 Million
For the third time since Wednesday, record sales have bumped the Mega Millions jackpot for Friday night’s drawing even higher. It is now estimated at $640 million, the largest jackpot ever offered in the world.
“It is unbelievable how this jackpot has taken off,” said May Scheve Reardon, executive director of the Missouri Lottery. “We’ve never seen anything this large in the United States or the world. It has taken on a life of its own.
“The main thing we want people to know is to play responsibly,” said Reardon. “You only need one ticket to win this prize. Don’t bet the farm.”
In addition to playing within their means, the Missouri Lottery is telling players to sign the back of their tickets immediately after purchase, and keep them in a safe place.
“One other thing to note is that tickets will be sold in Missouri until 8:59 p.m. tonight,” said Reardon. “I wouldn’t wait until early evening to get one – if you are planning to ﾭﾭ– since there will probably be long lines.”
If you should find yourself holding the winning ticket tonight, the Lottery offers this advice:
1. Be sure the back of the ticket is signed, and put it in a secure place.
2. Visit the Lottery’s website, click on the claiming prizes button and read “If You Win a Jackpot” (http://www.molottery.com/whenyouwin/jackpotwin.shtm).
3. Tell as few people as possible before your claim, so you have uninterrupted time to calmly decide how to claim your prize and time to get professional advice.
4. Seek sound professional tax and/or legal advice.
5. Call the Missouri Lottery. Lottery officials will provide you with forms and claim instructions.