Han Solo may never want to know the odds, and he might very well be right about that. Because it’s really hard to even calculate the odds of two winning jack-pots being drawn in just one weekend. One came Friday, for the Mega Millions draw, worth $450 million, and will go to a lucky person in Florida. The other one came on Saturday night, for the Powerball, worth $570 million. The winning ticket was bought in New Hampshire.
The winning numbers for the nation’s seventh highest Powerball jack-pot were 12-29-30-33-61 and Powerball 26. According to New Hampshire law, the winner may remain anonymous, although their Florida counterpart’s name will be published, should they claim the prize.
Both winners have up to 180 days to claim the prizes, although there’s a catch. The full jackpot refers to the total prize money to be payed in installments over 29 years (the annuity options), and the 180 days deadline refers to these options. If the winners choose the one-time payment of the winnings, they must request this within 60 days of the winning draw. Also, the lump-sum winnings are smaller – only $281 million for the Mega Millions, and $358.5 million for the Powerball.
Doing the math, the Powerball winner would get about $19.6 million dollars each year for the next 29 years, should they choose the annuity option. The Mega Millions winner would get about $15.5 million each year. Still, lottery officials say most winners opt for the one-time payments when claiming their prize.
For those of you who, unlike Han Solo, do want to know the odds, we have that information too. The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot were 302.5 million to 1. The winning numbers were 28-30-39-59-70-10. This has been the fourth largest Mega Millions jackpot in the history of the draw. The odds of winning the Powerball were 292.2 million to one. When compared to the actual winnings, suddenly these odds don’t seem to astronomical, do they?