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Mega Millions $810-million jackpot 3rd largest in game's history

You're more likely to be stung to death by hornets before you win Tuesday night's jackpot. Ticket sales are so high, the Lottery Commission increased the winnings.

CLEVELAND — A $2 ticket could win you a whopping $810-million in tomorrow’s Mega Millions jackpot - the 3rd largest jackpot in the game’s history! But 3News wanted to know how all of that money is divided up among the winner, the city, the state, and the federal government. 

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"Basically for a dollar a customer spends on a wager, 66 cents of that goes to the prizes to play that game. Another 24 cents goes to the lottery profits education fund, or beneficiary. From there, we take 7 cents, and that goes back to retailers where you purchased your tickets - for selling their games, for commissions on that sale, and also for cash and prizes. Then finally, 3 cents of that dollar is devoted to operations," says Marie Kilbane of the Ohio Lottery Commission.

When you have a big prize like Tuesday's jackpot, the Lottery Commission is required by law to withhold 24% federal tax and 4% state tax. For an $810-million dollar prize, that equals roughly $118-million dollars taken out for federal taxes, and about $19-million for state taxes. 

The Mega Millions jackpot for tomorrow night was slated to be $790-million, but the lottery commission says so many tickets were bought for the drawing, they had enough money to increase the jackpot to $810-million.

"We’re one of 47 lotteries that sell Mega Millions, and sales are going extremely well in Ohio and across the country," says Kilbane.

In case you’re wondering, the chances of winning Tuesday night’s Mega Millions is about one in 302-million. There are about 329-million people living in the US. Sorry to say, but you have a better chance of being killed by hornets, or becoming President of the United States, than winning Tuesday night’s jackpot.

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