Friday the 13th wasn't  the lucky night for the Mega Millions lottery players.  Nobody won the $425 million top prize, which means Tuesday’s jackpot will climb to an estimated $550 million.  This will make it the 4th largest jackpot in U.S. history!

Speculation is that the amount could rise even higher before the drawing. Each time the lottery fails to produce a jackpot, as it now has 21 straight times on this run, the pot gets even larger. That increases the number of tickets sold while decreasing the chances that nobody will win. It could approach or surpass the largest Mega Millions jackpot ever claimed, which was $656 million in March 2012.

A winner from Friday night's drawing would have had a cash option of $228 million before taxes. The winning numbers were: 19-24-26-27-70, Mega Ball: 12.

Although nobody hit the biggest prize, nine people nabbed $1 million prizes for matching the first five numbers. Those tickets were sold in Colorado, Connecticut, New Jersey and two apiece in Florida, Michigan and New York, Otto said.

A major game revamp to Mega Millions in October — aimed at growing bigger jackpots in a shorter amount of time — decreased the odds of a person winning the top prize to about 1 in 259 million. It was previously about 1 in 176 million, nearly the same odds as winning the Powerball jackpot. Still, the cost for a chance at winning millions with Mega Millions is just $1.

What would you do with $550 million?  Well first of all, the only way you get the full value of the $550 million is if you actually take 30 years worth of payments.  If you look and see, the lump sum option is considerably less, plus you get hit with a hefty tax right off the bat.  Still, I am not sure I want to wait 30 years to get my full $550 million, but I do believe I could comfortably live off of $18 million a year less taxes for the next 30 years.

My first purchase would be brand new cars for my husband and me and for our children old enough to drive.  The next would be plane tickets to someplace warm for the winter…perhaps Cabo San Lucas.  Once there, I would take a few months off from life to just savor the realization that my family and I would never have the stress of money woes hanging over our heads again.  I honestly don’t think we would end up on the show about how the lottery ruined our lives!

I have always said I would do good things if I were to win. I have a list of about 10 charities that I would support and a few schools I would start scholarship funds at.  With that kind of money, there would be plenty of room to do great things with it.  I would make sure my family and friends had the best Christmas ever, plus I would go to places like the Salvation Army and the City Mission to make sure those organizations had what they needed to make a great holiday for those in need.  The trick of course is that I have to first win it.  Now, where did I put that number for that psychic??

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