Thursday, 29 March 2012

US Lottery Set for World-record Payout

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: The odds of winning are as infinitesimally small as the prize is astronomically large. But a one in 176 million chance has proved good enough for many Americans, who are frantically buying lottery tickets in the hopes of netting half a billion dollars in the world’s largest-ever lottery jackpot.

The Mega Millions fortune is now worth $500 million (£300 million) after a series of rollovers, blasting through the previous record of $390 million, which was eventually split between two winners in 2007.

If a single winner matches all six numbers on Friday they can opt to take their fortune in a single lump sum or else settle for annual payments of a mere $19 million (£12 million).

Unlike most European lotteries the Mega Millions is subject to tax, so a lump sum winner would only take home $359 million - a figure roughly equivalent the economy of Tonga.

By British standards, the winner would fall a little short of the Queen on the rich list but comfortably ahead of Sir Elton John, Sir Mick Jagger and the Beckhams. Tourists are entitled to buy the tickets, but foreigners cannot purchase them online from overseas. Read on and comment » | Raf Sanchez | Washington | Wednesday, March 28, 2012

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