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July 5th Mega Millions Drawing Jackpot at $449 Million

“…and the winning numbers are…”

At 11 PM EST tonight (Tuesday, July 5th, 2016), TV viewers across the country will take a deep breath and organize their lottery tickets amongst their friends to see if they’ve hit the lottery. Some individuals buy one ticket while some families and companies may buy hundreds or thousands to increase their odds.

“This is my chance.”

They have hope that this will be their lucky day. All of the past losing tickets mean nothing. “It must be my time now. Even a small win. I can’t lose every time.”

Not true. Gambling games stay in business for a reason. The house always wins. Big numbers entice more action, but the higher payout does not translate to a higher likelihood of winning big.

This is one of the largest jackpots of all time. People are already discussing how many houses, cars, and swimming pools they are prepared to buy when they collect their winnings. There is only one problem: The odds are not in your favor. Check out the below chart…

Assuming you only invested $1 (one ticket), you have a 1 in 21 chance to break even and a 1 in 10,720 chance just to win $50 (don’t forget to subtract your total ticket investment to calculate your profits).

Also, there is a Megaplier® option that costs an additional $1 per play. It can increase your prize depending on your luck. Simple yet confusing. Take another deep breath; Below is the Megaplier breakdown…

Americans tend to be optimistic. Stores of all sorts see a huge influx in business the same day as the drawing. Unfortunately, most of those people will be buying summer homes and Ferraris in the upcoming hours.

According to Neva Pryor, Executive Director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, “Many people will be playing the lottery with the hopes of winning.  Many people will be playing responsibly and within their means.  Others will be spending their mortgage, food or other bill money, only to lose their savings and not be able to make ends meet the next day.  The Council is neither for nor against gambling, but would like to inform the public that they should gamble responsibly.  If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, please have them call or text 1-800-Gambler.  We offer Support, Treatment and Hope.”

The Council on Compulsive Gambling helps New Jersey residents and nationwide gamblers connect with anonymous meetings and trained representatives on our 24/7 helpline. If you or somebody you know needs help with problem gambling, visit http://800gambler.org or call 1-800-GAMBLER today.