Don't spend a lot but both Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots are Huge

Dueling Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots are giving lottery players two chances to strike it rich Friday and Saturday.

The Powerball jackpot has soared to about $550 million before Saturday's drawing after no tickets matched the winning numbers of Wednesday's drawing. Rival Mega Millions' grand prize, at $190 million, could climb higher before Friday's drawing.

California, which started selling Powerball tickets at the beginning of April, and Florida where Mega Millions went on sale only last Wednesday, expects full-blown lotto fever

A single Powerball ticket costs $2, while a Mega Millions ticket costs $1. A jackpot of $550 million ranks as the second largest in Powerball history and third biggest overall.

Both lotteries hit records in 2012, with a $587.5 million Powerball payout in November and a $656 million Mega Millions payout in March. The games are played in 43 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The odds of winning the top jackpot prize in either game are one in 175 million.

While I encourage you to get in the game, I also encourage you to spend wisely. All you need is a single play to win or to lose lose.

The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are one in 175,223,510.

Say you went wild and spent $200 on the next Powerball drawing. What would your odds of winning be then?

One in 175,223, 410. . . no real improvement at all.

Here are all the odds:


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