Cha-ching. The drawing of the multi-state Mega Millions jackpot has even the most ironclad non-gamblers pondering a ticket purchase. The record $640 million pot has created a ticket-buying frenzy and signals a spectacular event in lottery history. For the first-time betters out there, here's a breakdown.
When is the drawing held?
Held in Atlanta: 11:00 p.m.
Eastern Time: 10:00 p.m.
Central Time: 8:00 p.m.
Where can I play?
Forty-two different states, including D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands, are involved. Those in Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Alaska and Hawaii are out of luck.
When's the latest I can buy a ticket?
Up to 15 minutes before the drawing.
How do you play?
To claim the big prize, players need to match all five numbers in the first section of the draw, ranging from 1 to 59, and the Mega Ball number, ranging from 1 to 49.
Where does the money go?
For every dollar spent on a Mega Millions ticket, 59 cents goes towards prize money, and 31 cents go towards kindergarten through 12th grade education.
The final pot of money:
Depending on the state, on average the the after-tax jackpot is $360 million.
Just hit me: what are the odds?
1 in 176 million that you'll win.
What's more likely?
Death by Vending Machine (1 in 112 million). Seriously. On average, two people are crushed to death by vending machines each year.
Becoming president (1 in 10 million).
8,000 times more likely to be murdered.
Buying 50 tickets will equalize your chance of winning the lottery and getting struck by lightning.
So would you like to be a sucker tonight?