The strangest of years is drawing to a close with a few strange occurrences.
People worldwide know about the “Christmas Star” conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter, a phenomenon that isn’t likely to change anyone’s life. But, speaking of astronomical (odds), how about the conjunction of Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots?
Yep, that could have a serious impact.
The famous (infamous?) lottery options have topped a combined $650 million after the weekend’s drawings produced no overall winners.
The Mega Millions jackpot is $330 million for Tuesday’s drawing, while the Powerball prize is $321 million for Wednesday.
The odds are a bit steep, with the chance of a single ticket matching all six numbers in either game 1 in a million – or 2 million … or 3 million.
Officially, the odds are about 1 in 302 million for Mega Millions and 1 in 292 million for Powerball, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give it a shot and dream about winning.
The winnings can be delivered via lump sum or an annuity paid over 30 years. For the Mega Millions jackpot, the cash option is $252.8 million. For the Powerball prize, that amount is $247.1 million.
Experts usually recommend getting the money all at once.
“Taking the lump sum distribution would be the preference,” said CFP Doug Boneparth, president of Bone Fide Wealth in New York, in a CNBC story. “Doing that puts you in greater control of the money.”
Powerball drawings take place on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 11 p.m. Eastern, while Mega Millions drawings are on Tuesdays and Fridays, also at 11 p.m. Residents of Nevada, Utah, Alabama, Hawaii and Alaska are left out of the fun, as their states are not among the U.S. participants.