Mega Millions hits jaw-dropping record-high at $500 Million - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Mega Millions hits jaw-dropping record-high at $500 Million

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Have you bought your tickets yet? Have you made plans of what you would do with the money if you won? Well you better get started now because with no one matching the winning numbers Tuesday night, the Mega Millions has now soared to half a billion dollars.

$500 million is the largest jackpot in North American history, but you may be surprised at how much the odds are not in your favor. The odds of winning any prize are 1 in 40. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 175 million.

That means you are more likely to become a professional athlete, get struck by lightning or be elected the president of the United States than you are of taking home this cash. But those odds certainly didn't stop people from heading out and buying their lotto tickets.         

"I think it's wonderful. Hopefully there will be multiple winners, and I hope I am one of them," said Brenda Phillips.

She used to play the lottery every week, but has slowed down lately. She says this week's jackpot sent her back to the ticket line, "I usually do quick picks, however today I did pick a few of my children and grandchildren's birthdays."

Taylor Anne Roden, who workers at the Georgia Lottery store have nicknamed "Bingo," has been playing numbers for two years, "I chart it up every day. I write on charts what I'm going to do with it, exactly to the T what I would spend."

She says after giving 10 percent of her winnings to the church, she has every other dime of the $500 million planned out, "I'd put it into different organizations, like send some over to Africa and other needy countries. I would put a lot in savings and buy people stuff all the time. I would probably still work because I would get bored, but then again, I wouldn't have time to spend my money if I was working."

Phillips also has plans for her winnings, "I'd love to share some of it first with those in need and with my children. My husband and I love to travel so then we'd take off on a big trip."

You still have a few more days to buy your ticket, which means the jackpot could get even bigger. The winning numbers will be drawn Friday. 

What would you do if you won the lottery? Post your answer on our Facebook page or tweet using the hashtag #megamillions.

Copyright 2012 WTVM. All rights reserved. 

  • Online Poll

  • Friday's drawing will offer a cash option of $341 million to the winning ticket holder. If you won the Mega Millions jackpot, would you take the cash or set up a payment plan?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    Take the cash option
    89%
    59 votes
    Set up payment plan
    11%
    7 votes
Powered by Frankly