Mega Millions jackpot balloons to $1 billion ahead of drawing

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DENVER — The massive Mega Millions jackpot drawing will take place Friday night.

The jackpot swelled to $1 billion on Friday because there hasn’t been a jackpot winner since July 24. The pot has been getting fatter over the past three months.

For those putting money together and buying tickets with co-workers in an office pool, a financial adviser has some directions.

Experts say to name a leader and have one person in charge of buying the tickets.

Create a contract with the rules of the pool. Make a public list of everyone in the group. Make copies of all the tickets and pass them out. Know the state regulations when it comes to winning.

And know the odds make it a crazy bet. The odds of matching five numbers and the Mega number are 1 in 302,575,350.

“Having everybody understand it’s an agreement and have to live by it because things do go a little crazy if there is a winner,” a financial adviser said.

“If you saved $5 a day for 30 years, regular terms at 8 percent, at the end of the 30-year time period you’d have $225,000. The reality is you can do a lot better with your money than spending it on lottery tickets.”

Most people take the cash payout. If the jackpot holds at $975 million, it would be $513 million. About half of that would go to taxes.

The drawing takes place at 9 p.m.

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