DES MOINES, Iowa-
At over a billion dollars, the Mega Millions jackpot is among the largest lottery prizes ever available, making it the newest approach to lotteries to have taken place in the US. and throughout the world for centuries.
Only two prizes have grown larger than the huge jackpot that could be won on Friday night. Other lotteries in other parts of the world offer smaller payouts, although in other ways they are more integrated into the life of their countries.
“There are a lot of lotteries around the world,” said Bill Coley, president of the University of Miami Institute for Responsible Gaming, Lotteries and Sports. “They’re the mystiques of math. You can charge a nominal fee and have the opportunity to generate a billion-dollar revenue stream for a potential person. It’s pretty exciting.”
Initially, lotteries in the US mirrored similar games in Europe, and one was created in 1776 to help finance the Revolutionary War.
Lotteries are still popular in Europe. The Eurojackpot game paid out a $120 million euro ($121.9 million) jackpot last week to someone in Denmark, and a player in the UK recently won a $230 million euro ($233.6 million) Euromillions jackpot. ).
Arjan Van’t Veer, Secretary General of the European Lottery Association, pointed out that there are also numerous national lotteries.
Among the most famous is El Gordo de España.
Although it does not take place until December 22, a huge promotional campaign began on July 5. The effort always includes promotional videos, like one this summer featuring a know-it-all exposing himself as ignorant because he knows nothing. I don’t know where tickets are sold.
The US Mega Millions and Powerball games may offer larger individual prizes, but the €2.4 billion (US$2.4 billion) El Gordo is the largest game in terms of total prizes. Around 70% of lottery revenue pays for prizes and the rest goes to the government.
The jackpot is 4 million euros ($4 million). But the standard ticket people buy is a €20 “tenth,” or one-tenth of a full ticket, so people with the winning number on their tenth get €400,000 ($406,340), or about €330,000 ($335,268) after tax. .
Spain established the national lottery as a charity in 1763 during the reign of King Carlos III. Despite wars and other political and economic crises, the lottery has never been suspended.
Buying and sharing tenths, especially on Christmas Eve, is a tradition among families, friends, co-workers and in bars and sports and social clubs. People line up, even in the cold and rain, outside lottery offices, especially those that have sold winning tickets in the past.
After the winning numbers are announced, televised celebrations follow on the street and in bars, with people dancing and singing with uncorked bottles of sparkling wine.
There are also numerous big lotteries in Asia, such as Japan Jumbo Draw, as well as Japan Lotto 6 and Lotto 7, and Ultra Lotto in the Philippines.
David Schwartz, a professor and gaming historian at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, noted that lotteries have a long history around the world, in part because they are easy to play and offer exceptional but potentially huge winnings.
“The driving force behind lotteries is that a ticket is not that expensive, but you have the opportunity to get a great reward,” Schwartz said. “I think people understand that the odds are low, but on the other hand, someone has to win.”
Visitors from the US are welcome to play lottery games like Mega Millions, and for years residents of Canada and Mexico who live along the borders have made the short trip to buy tickets. There are also options to buy tickets online through private companies, but US lottery officials say people do so at their own risk.
And keep in mind, Ohio Lottery spokesman Michael Bycko said, non-US residents still have to pay federal and possibly state taxes, depending on where they play.
Giles reported from Madrid.