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Who Wants to Be a Billionaire?

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This is What's Trending Today…

Who wants to be a billionaire?

For a $2 ticket, people have a chance to win the Mega Millions record-breaking lottery jackpot of $1.6 billion. The drawing is on Tuesday night in the United States.

Players also have a chance at winning the Powerball jackpot, which is now up to $620 million. That drawing will be on Wednesday night.

Mega Millions is a lottery game played in 44 American states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The winning ticket must match six numbers, from 1 to 70. Several states permit online ticket purchases. Out-of-state or overseas purchases are not permitted.

The first Mega Millions drawing was on May 17, 2002. That winner received a jackpot of $28 million – a small amount compared to this week's jackpot.

The most recent Mega Millions drawing on October 19 was for a jackpot of $1 billion dollars. But no one won. It was the 25th drawing in a row that did not result in a winner.

About 280 million tickets were sold for the October 19 drawing. Those tickets covered 60 percent of all possible number combinations.

A woman (R) purchases Mega Millions lottery tickets on Oct. 19, 2018 in New York City
A woman (R) purchases Mega Millions lottery tickets on Oct. 19, 2018 in New York City

So, what are your chances of winning the $1.6-billion jackpot this time?

Very, very small.

The financial website The Motley Fool says the chance of someone winning the Mega Millions jackpot is 1 in 302,575,350. The chance is a little better with the Powerball. It is 1 in 292,201,338.

You are more likely to get struck by lightning than win the jackpot, at least in the United States. The National Weather Service says a person has about a 1 in a million chance of getting hit.

You are much more likely to get accepted to Harvard University. The Ivy League school accepted 5 percent of its 39,000 applicants for its 2021 class. That is a 1 in 20 chance.

Americans even have a better chance at becoming president than they do at winning this week's jackpot. The U.S. population is about 326 million. There are about 10 presidents in an average lifetime. So, a person's chances at becoming president are 1 in 32.6 million. However, the U.S. Constitution requires that a person be at least 35 years old and a "natural born citizen" to be elected president.

And that's What's Trending Today.

I'm Ashley Thompson.

Hai Do wrote this story for Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

We want to hear from you. Write to us in the comments section and visit our Facebook page.

Words in This Story

lottery - n. a way of raising money for a government, charity, etc., in which many tickets are sold and a few of the tickets are chosen by chance to win prizes

jackpot - n. a usually large amount of money won in a game of chance

drawing - n. an act of choosing something (such as a winning ticket) from a group without knowing

applicant - n. someone who formally asks for something (such as a job or admission to a college)

in a row - phrase. following one after another

average - n. ordinary or usual

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