02 April 2012 - Lottery Hysteria Sweeps the USA with a World Record $640 Million Prize
By Mike Veverka
This weekend saw lottery hysteria sweep across the USA with a world record
$640 million jackpot in Mega Millions. This hysteria even spilled overseas with the event
making the news worldwide and even helped drive sales in our $21 million Megadraw on Saturday night.
US$1.5 billion was spent in just a few days by Americans and long queues were seen coast to coast.
The only legal lottery website - www.myillinoislottery.com was swamped with orders and managed to take in over $1 million in sales.
Brian, our US representative, will be in contact with Illinois officials this week putting forward the advantages
of having another Internet retailer (like Jumbo!) sharing the load.
Jumbo's own US-facing website - www.lotteryresults.com - was also hit hard the moment
the winning numbers were announced (02-04-23-38-46 + the Mega Ball 23).
We launched this site a few years ago to build up a database of US lottery players in anticipation of getting the rights to sell online.
The customer traffic was immense so a special page was quickly prepared giving the results once people subscribed.
New people were signed up in a matter of hours at nil cost - the advantage of being in the right place at the right time.
The $640 million was shared by 3 people and the stores that sold the tickets will also receive a $500,000 bonus.
12 people won the second prize of $250,000 each (or $1 million if they paid an extra dollar for the multiplier) and those stores
will receive a $10,000 bonus for selling the tickets. In the USA, unlike Australia, stores that sell winning tickets also share in the prize.
If Jumbo is successful in becoming an Internet reseller, we will also be eligible for these bonuses.
The 3 winners are from Illinois, Kansas and Maryland. The name of the winner from Illinois will be made public
(under state law) however the winners in Kansas and Maryland will have the option of maintaining their privacy.
They each receive US$213.3 million before taxes and payments are spread out over a 26 year period.
If they choose to take the lump-sum option, they will receive $108 million after tax each.