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Feeling Lucky? Play the Mega Millions and You Could Win $1 Billion

10:35 AM, Oct 22, 2018


Gabriel Castaneda

Feeling lucky? Have six numbers? Well, there's a chance that your life might change forever.

The jackpot in the Mega Millions is up to a record-setting $1 billion. Friday's jackpot is the largest Mega Millions prize ever. The drawing is tonight at 11 p.m. EDT.

Mega Millions Is Up a Record-setting $1 Billion

The prize amount grew to a billion dollars because no one has hit the jackpot since July 24 when a group in California won $543 million. Now with a billion dollars, you could buy luxury cars, houses, and even private jets.

All fun fantasy stuff. But with this much money on the line, we started thinking about this differently. Instead of how much can you spend how about who could you spend it on?

You could start by helping people in crisis. The organization Abuse Counseling & Treatment, otherwise known as ACT, helps victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking.

Julya McCoy with ACT told us that one in four women and one in five men will be affected by intimate partner violence. "We go directly toward giving them those services," said Julya."Shelter, counseling, clothing - whatever they could need when they’re trying to get better."

You can also donate money to places who help people in need, like Goodwill.

"Any donation, whether it’s the gently-used stuff you’re giving us or the monetary donations, it does stay right here in southwest Florida," said Carolyn Johnson from Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida. "So yes - you are directly helping your neighbors when you give to Goodwill Industries."

If you're an animal lover you can't forget about the cute and furry friends. Local animal shelters organizations like Gulf Coast Humane Society don't receive money from the state or federal government, so donations always are a big deal.

"We don’t receive any money from the National Humane Society or anything like that. We are able to take care of animals because of donations," Jennifer Galloway from Gulf Coast Humane Society said.

If you've gone to college you know that students need help paying for school. A way you can help is by setting up scholarships or even paying off a ton of student loans.

However you help, you’re going to need help.

Certified Public Accountant, Bob Turkenitz, said he would advise people to take the check, put it in the bank and not touch that money for at least 90 days. This way your emotions have settled down and you're thinking more clearly.

Then after the 90 days, Bob advises deciding on some amount to relieve that itch of spending the money just for vanity purposes, but nothing super significant. Get money for the Porsche that you might want and that would be it.

After your emotions have settled and you've spent some money, make sure you set up the money in accounts that are tough to get to. The idea is to manage it in a way that’s spread out in a way that you’ll never run out of it.

This will be the second-largest jackpot for any game played in the United States. The biggest jackpot in the United States was on Jan. 13, 2016 when the Powerball prize was $1,586,400,000. The prize money was split three ways in California, Tennessee and Melbourne Beach, Florida. Hopefully, you don't have to split the money if you win.

You can buy a Mega Millions ticket until 10:45 p.m. on drawing night