Daring to dream

Mega Millions jackpot surpasses $1 billion

Mona Hair purchases lottery tickets Friday morning at the 7 Eleven on Vandament Avenue in Yukon. Hair and others across the nation tried their luck in the Mega Million lottery for Friday night’s $1.1 billion drawing. (Photo by Michael Pineda)

By Michael Pineda
Staff Writer

The Mega Millions lottery has lived up to its name.

Friday night, the latest drawing was for a $1.1 billion jackpot. For those keeping record at home, the cash option was for $648.2 million. 

Can you spell instant retirement?

Friday night’s drawing is the second largest in the 20-year history of the game. The largest was $1.5 billion, which was won in South Carolina on Oct. 23, 2018.

Despite high hopes and resilient optimism, the odds of winning Friday night are not in your favor. The Mega Millions website lists the odds of winning the jackpot as 1 in 303 million. According to the National Weather Service, your odds are only 1 in 15,300 of being struck by lightning during a lifespan of 80 years. 

Let that one sink in for a minute.

Other notable odds to ponder:

* Being bitten by a shark, 1 in 3.7 million (Petpedia)

* Odds of conceiving quintuplets, 1 in 60 million (National Center for Health Statistics)

* Odds of HS baseball being drafted, 1 in 200 (HS Baseball Web)

* Odds of Dallas Cowboys winning another Super Bowl, incalculable

Okay, the last one was a joke … sort of. The point however stands. The odds are nowhere in your favor. But someone has to eventually win.

For a $2 ticket, people are trying to get their piece of the pie and win more money than 99% of the population has ever dreamed of.

Then what?

Most people aren’t trained to balance that kind of checkbook. It takes a little help. Kudos to David Meek who posted he would get a good accountant, tax lawyer and investment counselor. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. 


Julie Haynes took a practical approach when she posted she would buy an ambulance ride because she would probably pass out and hit her head. 

Housing is also front and center for lottery hopefuls. Tammy Rowell Witt said she just wants a nice, safe house. Beverly Barbati said she also wants a home and not just a rental. She is tired of rent being raised and becoming unaffordable. She is also interested in buying some land with the house for a rescue. Melissa Holder also had animals on her mind.

“I’m definitely playing and if I won, I would do everything in my power to help all of the cats and dogs in shelters that are being euthanized every day!! I would buy lots of land and hire lots of workers and build a state-of-the-art adoption center with free spay and neuter clinic,” Holder posted.

Sherry Kesinger would get herself out of debt, get housing for her family and donate to rescues she loves. Ashley Greathouse would get her own home and purchase a building for people to display their homemade things and market them to others. She would also make donations for schools.

Are you making notes, Dr. Jason Simeroth?

Jeannie Harmon is looking toward recreation and entrepreneurship. 

She posted she would like to open a large meat packing plant with employee profit sharing. She would offer massive scholarships for trade jobs. For herself, Harmon would have a massive pool with a lazy river around an acre of her land. 

Might want to put aside some of that money for a full-time pool boy.

Jennifer Robb put in her bid for wife of the year when she posted she would buy a new truck for her husband. Wendy Stockton also had a selfless post, saying she would spend money on constant acts of kindness. 

Sounds like a worthy endeavor.