$660 million (or more) at stake in tonight’s Mega Millions drawing

Odds of winning the jackpot: 1 in 302.6 million (Good luck)

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – The odds are astronomical, but the third highest jackpot in Mega Millions history is up for grabs.

What would you do with $660 million dollars?

That’s what’s at stake in tonight’s Mega Millions drawing.

Even if you don’t win, your money still goes to a good cause.

There’s a reason why it’s called the Tennessee Education Lottery. All profits from lottery sales go toward college scholarships, grants and after-school programs in the state, says Tennessee Education Lottery President & CEO, Rebecca Paul.

“A hundred percent of our profits go to fund scholarship and grant programs. We’ve raised over six-and-a-half billion dollars since we started, so we’re very proud of that.”

But you’re not buying a Mega Millions ticket tonight thinking it’s a donation toward Hamilton County Schools. You want the cash. Whether you take $376 million now or $660 million or more over 30 years might be the difference.

Paul: “It makes no difference to the lottery which you take because both options are $376 million. With one, we buy the annuity, which gives you tax benefits, and, in the other, you take the cash and then you have different tax consequences.”

Because the jackpot is so high, it usually means you have stiff competition to win. Your odds? 1 in almost 303 million.

Paul: “When you get a jackpot this large, it tends to grow. The bigger the jackpot, the more people play. The more people play, the bigger it grows. The bigger it grows, the more people play. And, of course, as part of that circle is the more money we raise for those education programs.”

If you don’t win the jackpot, you might want to check to see if you hit on anything else because it’s just more money in your pocket.

Paul: “Remember, there are nine different ways to win. So, even if you don’t win the jackpot, check your tickets, so that you, indeed, know you didn’t give away $50,000. Or $1,000. Or anything, because there are nine different ways to win. So, check your ticket, sign the back of your ticket … and have fun.”

For some of you, the only fun you’re having is if you win.

There is a possibility that the final jackpot will end up in the 700 million dollar range, so make sure to check your ticket.

If you are a winner of the big jackpot in Tennessee, you’ll have to travel to Nashville to pick up your big check.

That’s a small price to pay for almost 700 million.

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News, State News-Tennessee