$1.1 Billion Mega Millions Jackpot at Biggest Ever Prizes – NBCNEWS

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DES MOINES, Iowa – At over $1 billion, the Mega Millions jackpot is one of the largest lottery prizes ever up for grabs, making it the latest focus of lotteries that have been held for centuries in the US and around the world .

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Only two prizes have surpassed the huge jackpot that could be won on Friday night. Other lotteries elsewhere around the world offer smaller payouts, although they are more integrated into life in their country in other ways.

“There are tons of lotteries around the world,” said Bill Coley, president of the Institute of Responsible Gaming, Lotteries and Sports at Miami University. “They are the mystics of mathematics. You can take a nominal fee and give it a chance to build a billion dollar revenue stream for possibly one person. It’s quite exciting.”

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Lotteries in the US initially mirrored similar games in Europe, and one was created in 1776 to help fund the Revolutionary War.

Lotteries remain popular in Europe. The Eurojackpot game last week paid a $120 million Euro ($121.9 million) prize to someone in Denmark, and a player in the UK recently won a $230 million Euro ($233.6 million) Euromillions prize. .

‘The Lottery’, an engraving by the artist William Hogarth, was created in 1721 as a criticism of the British government’s decision to raise money through lotteries.

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Arjan van’t Veer, the secretary general of the European Lotteries Association, noted that there are also plenty of national lotteries.

One of the most celebrated is El Gordo (The Fat One) in Spain.

Although it won’t be held until December 22, a major promotional campaign kicked off on July 5. The effort always includes promotional videos, like this one this summer featuring a know-it-all being exposed as a know-nothing because he doesn’t. Don’t know where tickets are sold.

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The US Mega Millions and Powerball games may offer larger individual prizes, but El Gordo’s 2.4 billion euros ($2.4 billion) is the largest game for total prizes. About 70% of the lottery proceeds are paid for prizes, the rest goes to the government.

The top prize is 4 million euros ($4 million). But the standard ticket that people buy is 20 euros “decimo”, or one-tenth of a full ticket, so people with the winning number on their décimo get 400,000 euros ($406,340), or about 330,000 euros ($335,268) after taxes .

The drawing of the lottery in Paris, circa 1900

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Spain established the National Lottery in 1763 as a charitable trust during the reign of King Carlos III. Despite wars and other political and economic crises, the lottery has never been suspended.

Buying and sharing decimos – especially in the run-up to Christmas – is a tradition among families, friends, colleagues and in bars, sports and social clubs. People queue, even in the cold and rain, outside the lottery offices, especially those who have sold winning lottery tickets in the past.

After the winning numbers are announced, televised street and bar parties follow, with people dancing and singing with uncorked bottles of sparkling wine.

There are also plenty of major lotteries in Asia, such as the Japan Jumbo Draw, as well as the Japanese Loto 6 and Loto 7, and the Ultra Lotto in the Philippines.

David Schwartz, a professor and game historian at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, noted that lotteries around the world have a long history, in part because they are easy to play and offer rare but potentially huge winnings.

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“The driving force behind lotteries is that one ticket isn’t that expensive, but you have a chance at a huge, huge payout,” said Schwartz. “I think people understand that the odds are pretty slim, but on the other hand, someone has to win.”

Visitors to the US are welcome to play lottery games like Mega Millions, and for years Canadian and Mexican residents living along the borders have made the short journey to purchase tickets. There are also options to buy lottery tickets online through private companies, but US lottery officials say people do so at their own risk.

And keep in mind, Ohio Lottery spokesman Michael Bycko said that people who are not residents of the US are still dependent on federal and possibly state taxes, depending on where they play.

Giles reported from Madrid

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