Massive $361M and $440M jackpots tempt lottery players - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Massive $361M and $440M jackpots tempt lottery players

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Lottery players across the country have a chance at winning two giant jackpots that together amount to just  more than $800 million.

The Mega Millions raised its jackpot for Tuesday night, offering players an annuity of $361 million, paid over 29 years. The game's cash option is now an estimated $225.9 million. It's the largest Mega Millions prize since a $393 million drawing last August.

On Wednesday night, players of the Powerball game will seek a $440 million annuity prize, or a $278.3 million cash prize. Powerball hasn't had such a big prize since August, when a Massachusetts player won a $758.7 million jackpot.

Kentucky Lottery officials say more people tend to play the lottery, when jackpots go above $100 million. And as jackpots rise, officials say they see more pool play with groups of friends or coworkers pooling their money to buy multiple tickets.

Kentucky Lottery president and CEO Tom Delacenserie said having two jackpots so large is rare. "What's unusual is that they both grew together.  Normally, one will get hit and the other won't.  The fact that both of these have rolled 19 times since October is unusual."

The odds of winning jackpots in either game are incredibly small. Mega Millions has odds of one in 302.6 million and Powerball is slightly better at one in 292.2 million.

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