Mega-Mania Grips Nation as Lottery Jackpot Swells

Mar 30, 2012  •  Post A Comment

Lines were forming across the country as the record Mega Millions jackpot grew ever larger today, with the AP reporting early this afternoon that it had grown to $640 million.

We reported two days ago that the lottery jackpot was headed for record territory, noting at that time that it would be close to half a billion dollars. It has since blown that forecast out of the water.

Officials estimated that ticket purchasers would spend more than $1.46 billion on the lottery by the time sales close before tonight’s drawing.

Among the many Mega-Mania anecdotes, AP reported: “A cafe worker in Arizona reported selling $2,600 worth of tickets to one buyer, while a retired soldier in Wisconsin doubled his regular weekly ticket spending to $55. But each would have to put down millions more to guarantee winning what could be the biggest single lotto payout in the world.

"’I feel like a fool throwing that kind of money away,’ said Jesse Carter, who spent the $55 and donated the last two tickets he bought at a Milwaukee store Friday to a charity. ‘But it’s a chance you take in life, with anything you do.’"

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