Powerball and Mega Millions pots can make you a billionaire

Unfortunately, the odds of winning are about 1 in half a billion. Each ticket will set you back $2.

Powerball and Mega Millions combined jackpots total $1 billion in drawings on Friday and Saturday. (Andrea Brown / The Herald)

Powerball and Mega Millions combined jackpots total $1 billion in drawings on Friday and Saturday. (Andrea Brown / The Herald)

You don’t have to start a tech company to become a billionaire.

All it takes is $4 and a lotto luck.

Combined, this weekend’s Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots are nearly $1 billion.

The odds of winning both are about 1 in 594 million.

Tickets for the multi-state lotteries are $2 a pop. The drawing is Friday for the Mega Millions jackpot of $510 million and Saturday for Powerball’s $470 million bonanza.

This is only the third time that both jackpots are over $400 million at the same time.

The Mega Millions winner can take a lump sum of $377 million. The Powerball cash payout is $363 million. To get every penny, take it as an annuity over 30 years.

If no tickets have all six numbers, the amounts will climb. Mega Millions drawings are Tuesday and Friday. Powerball draws on Wednesday and Saturday.

This is the eighth highest prize in Mega Millions history and the tenth for Powerball. The Mega Millions top prize was $1.537 billion in 2018 and $1.586 billion in 2016 for Powerball.

The freak chance of winning the jackpot is 1 in 303 million for Mega Millions and 1 in 292 million for Powerball.

If that is too daunting, the state’s Lotto game prize is a not-so-shabby $2.1 million. Tickets are $1 for two draws and the odds of winning are a mere 1 in 7 million.

Players have 180 days from the drawing date to claim their prize.

Check your pockets.

Seven Washington state lottery draw games worth a total of $2.2 million expire this month.

A $10,000 Match 4 ticket purchased in July at Lynnwood’s ARCO station at 4806 196th St. SW expires Jan. 27.

Two Hit 5 tickets sold in Federal Way and Tacoma, each worth $420,000, expire Jan. 14.

Tickets $600 and less can be redeemed at retail sites. Those $601 or more used to be claimed at lottery regional offices, such as the one in Everett, all of which are closed due to COVID-19. Winners with prizes up to $100,000 can mail tickets to claim their loot.

Winners with tickets for $100,000 or more have the option to call the lottery headquarters in Olympia to schedule an appointment to make an in-person claim.

By state law, the names of winners are public record and can be obtained with a records request.

Prizes that aren’t claimed go in a reserve account for the Washington Opportunity Pathways Account, which helps support college students and early childhood education programs.

Andrea Brown: abrown@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3443. Twitter @reporterbrown.

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