Offbeat
8:19 am
Tue December 17, 2013

There are 586,000,000 reasons to play the lottery today

Michigan Lottery players have more than visions of sugar plums dancing through their heads this holiday season.

A potentially record breaking lottery jackpot is on the line tonight.   

The Mega Millions jackpot stands at $586 million. The all-time biggest lottery jackpot in the U.S. reached $656 million back in March of this year. Depending on final day sales, the Mega Millions jackpot could break the record tonight.

“This is what players like,” says Jeff Holyfield, a Michigan Lottery spokesman, “This is part of the entertainment, part of the excitement of the lottery…is to have these huge jackpots and have people say, not only, if I won that I’d buy a new car, but if I won that I’d buy a tropical island.”

Holyfield puts the size of the jackpot into perspective. 

“If you won this jackpot and spent a thousand dollars an hour, it would take you almost 67 years to spend $586 million,” says Holyfield, “Of course, that’s before taxes.”

Holyfield says if no one matches the six Mega Millions numbers the jackpot for Friday’s drawing could be close to a billion dollars.

The only sure winner from the Lottery is Michigan’s school aid fund, which receives a portion of the proceeds of state lottery sales.