$640 Million Jackpot Has Lottery Buyers Dreaming of How Many Lottery Tickets $640 Million Would Buy

AUGUSTA — In the eight minutes Tim Poulin spent talking about Mega Millions to a reporter, store clerks around Maine sold another 4,000 tickets. “I’ve not seen this, ever,” said Poulin, director of operations at the Maine State Lottery. Just before noon, officials announced that the Mega Millions jackpot had risen to $640 million, the largest in the world, ever. Across the country, Americans plunked down an estimated $1.5 billion on an infinitesimally small chance to win it. So what exactly would happen if the country spent that $1.5 billion on something other than a distant dream? For starters, it could cure everyday worries for hundreds of thousands of American families hit by the Great Recession. It costs an average of $6,129 to feed the typical family for a year — meaning the cash spent on tickets could fill up the plates of 238,000 households. (read more at the Lewiston Sun Journal)