Mar 6, 2007, 11:02 pm
Here are the numbers with the power to permanently transform a person's life:
16-22-29-39-42, Mega Ball: 20
Millions of people holding tickets for tonight's Mega Millions lottery drawing are checking their numbers to see if they will be that lucky soul whose life will instantly change.
The jackpot of $370 million, which has a lump-sum cash value of $221 million, will be shared by any tickets matching all five numbers and the Mega Ball. If only one ticket matches all six numbers, the entire prize will go to the holder of that one ticket.
What's the first thing you should do if you win? "Sign the back of the ticket immediately," says Todd Northrop, owner of Lottery Post, a popular Internet destination for lottery players. "Winning lottery tickets are bearer documents, so your signature is the first step in proving your ownership when you redeem it."
Finding a safe place to keep the ticket is among the next steps for a jackpot winner.
"There are some important things to keep in mind once you begin to calm down, such as keeping quiet about your win, and only telling people close to you who won't spread it around," Northrop explained. "Also, keep the ticket safe and secure, without telling many people where it's being kept; change your phone number immediately; don't make promises to anyone; and assemble a team of trusted advisers before even thinking about claiming the prize."
"Oh, and don't forget to mention Lottery Post at the press conference."
The $370 million jackpot is an estimated number, based on sales numbers from the twelve Mega Millions states. It is likely that the amount will by increased after all the final sales figures are tallied.
This Mega Millions jackpot is the largest lottery prize ever awarded. The previous record-holder was Powerball, at $365 million on February 18, 2006, which was claimed by 8 meat plant workers in Nebraska.
To mark the occasion, the Mega Millions states decided to hold the drawing in New York's Times Square, which was the site of past momentous Mega Millions drawings.
Yolanda Vega, the legendary New York Lottery hostess, announced the winning numbers as they were drawn.
In a couple hours' time the world will know if one or more tickets matched all six numbers, or if the jackpot will rise even further for Friday's drawing.
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