U.S.

# Mega Millions soars to \$875 million, Powerball hits \$600 million

Mega Millions players have a 1 in 302.6 million chance of taking home the jackpot. The chances aren't much better for the Powerball jackpot.

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File

The celebrations of St. Patrick's Day also ushered in some sky high jackpots as lottery lovers went out to points of sale to purchase tickets in the hopes of becoming even more lucky, seeing green.

Mega Millions and Powerball games had built up some massive and enticing offerings after weeks of no winners, watching the jackpots continue to rollover and grow larger.

As the weekend moved along, the Mega Millions jackpot had already hit an eye opening \$875 million. Great news for a winner if Tuesday night's drawing leads to that. No player matched all six numbers drawn on Friday night.

Saturday night's Powerball jackpot stood at \$600 million.

A mathematician's view on lotteries and betting

### A mathematician's view on lotteries and betting

Experts on the numbers agree: The lottery is a game, and there will be a winner. But is it worth an investment of your time and money?

It's not uncommon for lotteries to go weeks without a winner. The chances of winning a national lottery are incredibly slim — so much so that mathematicians say statistically buying one ticket will lend you just as much a chance of winning as buying 100 tickets. So, have fun with the game and don't go over board.

Tim Chartier, a professor of mathematics and computer science at Davidson College in North Carolina said of winning: "It's possible, but it's improbable."

Chartier is an expert on sports analytics, numerical linear algebra and is a distinguished visiting professor at the National Museum of Mathematics.

Chartier and other experts on the numbers agree: It's a game, and there will be a winner. But, is it worth an investment of your time and money to increase your chances?

"It's clearly possible to win," Chartier said. But, trying to win by picking your favorite numbers or buying more tickets isn't going to really help.

Five states, including Alabama, Alaska, Nevada, Hawaii and Utah, do not have a lottery. So players from those states tend to cross state lines to play.

Casino.org called the chances of winning the lottery "absurdly small."