Mega Millions jackpot at $1.6 billion for winning numbers drawing tonight; Powerball at $620M for Wednesday drawing

Tuesday, October 23, 2018
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Mega Millions fever grips Delaware Valley. Katherine Scott reports during Action News at Noon on October 23, 2018.

HAVERTOWN, Pa. (WPVI) -- People are snapping up tickets for Tuesday night's Mega Millions jackpot drawing.

The Mega Millions lottery jackpot is at a record $1.6 billion. It would be the largest jackpot prize in U.S. history and comes with a cash option of $904 million.

The winning numbers drawn Friday were: 15-23-53-65-70 Mega Ball: 7.

RELATED: How much could you buy with $1.6 billion?

As people fantasize about what they would do with more than a billion dollars, some realize buying a dream is cheaper when you are paying in a pool.

At $20 a person, 131 people in Havertown, Delaware County are pooling their odds to score the record-breaking $1.6 billion Mega Millions jackpot.

Randy Testa organized the group on a Havertown Community Facebook page. Monday night was his third and final trip to buy tickets.

For many in the group, Testa is a complete stranger.

"People trusted me with their money - a total stranger, never expected," Testa said.

While the ticket itself is a gamble, what happens if you win shouldn't be.

RELATED: Mega Millions and Powerball 2018: How do the jackpots grow?

"I made a spreadsheet with all of their names, what they paid and how they paid. Everyone was paying $20, a flat $20 per person," Testa said. "The contract is being sent out through all their emails, they're signing it digitally and returning."

His tips to avoid being taken: take pictures of all the tickets, don't include the barcode at the bottom so they can't be counterfeited, and then post the photos so everyone can see them. That way there's no question about the numbers.

Attorney Gary Green says you can even take it a step further by having the person purchasing the group's tickets do a cell phone video recording agreeing to split the winnings.

"If he tries to say later 'Oh no, I bought this for myself,' the answer is no you didn't, we agreed if you're the courier, you're going to buy only for the group and you're sitting out buying for yourself," said Green.

For those in the pool, it's just more fun to dream in a big group.

"We do know the rules, and I am not at all scared this isn't working out," said Marge Reitano. "With this big of a lottery winning, if I got my $20 back I'd be happy. It's more fun with more people."

If you've noticed jackpots getting larger recently, you're right. Lottery officials changed the odds to lessen the chance of winning a jackpot.

The theory is that bigger jackpots would draw more attention, which would lead to more tickets sold, and a bigger jackpot, and bigger dreams.

The Powerball jackpot has also climbed. It's up to an estimated $620 million for Wednesday's drawing. That would make it the fifth-largest jackpot in U.S. history.

Saturday's winning Powerball numbers were: 16-54-57-62-69 and Powerball: 23.

The largest Powerball jackpot ever was $1.6 billion in January, 2016, with winners from California, Florida and Tennessee.

Mega Millions jackpots start out at $40 million and roll over if there is no jackpot winner and the overall odds of winning the jackpot are 1:302,575,350. Mega Millions drawings take place at 10 p.m. every Tuesday and Friday.

Mega Millions tickets are sold in 44 states plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Powerball jackpots start at $40 million and overall odds of winning the jackpot are 1:292,201,338. Powerball drawings take place at 9:59 p.m. every Wednesday and Saturday.

Powerball tickets are sold in 44 states plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


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