Day dreaming of ‘winning it big’

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Like many of you, I spent a great deal of Tuesday daydreaming of “winning it big.”

And I’m sure, like many of you, I pondered what I would do if I were the holder of the winning Mega Millions jackpot lottery ticket or even the Powerball jackpot.

I’m not a regular player of the lottery. I’m one of those who only plays when the pot gets to astronomical proportions. So, like many of you, I made the trek across the Mississippi River this weekend and purchased my lottery tickets for Tuesday night’s drawing.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

For those who have been living under a rock for the last month or so, the Mega Millions jackpot has reached an astonishing $1.6 billion — the world’s largest ever lottery jackpot — since no one has matched all of the numbers in months.

The Powerball prize is also up to $620 million, which isn’t chump change.

If I were to win either, I’d definitely opt for the cash. The cash for the Mega Millions jackpot would be around $904 million, while the Powerball cash prize is $354.3 million. Either would set anyone up nicely for the rest of their life.

But the odds of winning the Mega Millions — 1 in 302.5 million — are about as long a shot as me walking on the moon before I die. I have a better chance of a vending machine falling on me and killing me than winning the Mega Millions jackpot. The odds of winning the Powerball are a little better — 1 in 292.2 million — but not much.

If the odds of winning either Mega Millions or Powerball don’t seem gigantic enough, how about winning them both? Spend $4 on a ticket for each game and it could happen. But the odds aren’t especially favorable, at about 1 in 88 quadrillion (that’s 88,000,000,000,000,000).

Are you curious to know which lottery numbers have come up most frequently? According to lottery officials, since 2010, the number 2 has had 92 hits, followed by the numbers 20, 11, 31 and 17. The most hit Mega Ball number is 9. Of course lottery officials are also quick to point out that the number selection is random, so there’s no real proof that what hit in the past will be selected again. The game has also changed over the past few years, so some numbers included weren’t always in the mix.

But what would I do if I did win the big money — after I regained consciousness? Like most of you, I would pay off debt and share the wealth with my family.

Someone perhaps woke up this morning a billionaire. But, like many of you, I woke up this morning and made my way into work.

Rob Sigler is editor of The Vicksburg Post. You may reach him at