In the interests of full (and somewhat idiotic) disclosure, I rarely, if ever, play the lottery. However, when I do--I wait for the jackpot to become astronomical. Take last night's Mega-Millions lottery drawing for example. I guess I couldn't be bothered with a paltry $346,000,000. But on Friday, when the jackpot will be just south of $400,000,000, I'll probably grab a ticket.

According to the lottery folks, that means that Friday will be the 6th largest jackpot in the last 15 years. Some people, not content to wait for the pile of cash to grow and grow like I do, went ahead and played anyway on Tuesday. 4 people matched up 5 numbers, which is worth $1,000,000. I'm sure that they're embarrassed.

Here are a few things that maybe you didn't know about the Mega Millions game, courtesy of

  • There was a jackpot winner in the very first Mega Millions drawing. The drawing on May 17, 2002 resulted in a $28 million winning ticket in Illinois.
  • There was a second jackpot winner just one week later - which means there were two jackpot winners within the first three Mega Millions drawings.
  • Mega Millions has awarded 10 jackpots of more than $300 million, including a record $656 million in March 2012, which was the world's largest jackpot until January 2016.
  • It only took 68 drawings (34 weeks) for Mega Millions to sell its 1 billionth ticket on January 7, 2003.
  • Since the game was relaunched in October 2013, jackpots have been won in Arkansas, California (5), Florida, Georgia (3), Illinois (3), Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New York (6), Ohio, Pennsylvania (2), Tennessee, Texas (2), Virginia and Washington (2). They ranged from a high of $648 million down to $15 million.
  • In calendar year 2015, eight Mega Millions jackpots were won, three at levels of $200 million or more (two in Illinois and one in Ohio). The game welcomed its very first jackpot winner from Missouri in July.
  • In calendar year 2016, there were eight jackpots won -- on January 8, March 8, July 8, July 19, July 22, September 16, October 11 and November 18. The July 19 and 22 prizes were back-to-back jackpot wins, only the sixth time that has happened in the game's history. The July 8 jackpot of $536 million (won in Indiana) was the third largest in the game's history.
  • To date in 2017, there have been three jackpots won, two in California ($191 million on January 27 and $61 million on April 28) and one in Arkansas ($177 million on March 31).

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