News Column

Mega Millions Jackpot Now at $540 Million

March 29, 2012

Sara Pauff

The Mega Millions jackpot is now at $540 million, according to Georgia Lottery.

Diana Perry just wants "a little piece" of the $540 million up for grabs in Friday's Mega Millions jackpot.

"I don't need to win it all," she said after buying her ticket at the Shell Station at the corner of Second Avenue and Manchester Expressway. "I'm not greedy."

The jackpot was bumped to $500 million from $476 million Wednesday as a result of brisk ticket sales, making it the largest lottery jackpot in history. The second largest jackpot was $390 million, awarded to two winners in March 2007. It has rolled 18 times since Marcia Adams of College Park won $72 million in a Jan. 24 drawing.

Perry said if she won the lottery, she'd take care of her mother.

"I'd buy a house and a car for her," she said.

Her friend Kimberly Parnell also bought a ticket.

"I've got some charities I'd probably give to," she said.

"She would, too," Perry added. "She's got a big heart."

Mega Millions offers two payout options: approximately 19 million a year for 26 years with an annuity option or a single cash out payment of about $359 million.

Mega Millions tickets are $1 each, so Denise Coley bought two. "Unfortunately, everyone else is buying tickets like me, so I have fewer chances of winning," she said.

Coley said she and her husband are planning to move from Phenix City to Texas soon. If they won the lottery, they'd be able to buy a bigger house, she said.

"You never know," said Ken Holston after he bought his ticket. "Everybody can use a little extra."

Holston said he'd probably use some of his winnings to retire and make his family comfortable, give 10 percent to his church and set up a foundation to help the needy.

"That kind of money will change your life," he said.

It's always good to be prepared. Read this handy guide for tips on what to do after you hit the Mega Millions jackpot.

Source: (c) 2012 the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (Columbus, Ga.)

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