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The stuff of dreams: U.S. Mega Millions lottery tops $500 million

Reuters

The jackpot for Tuesday night’s U.S. Mega Millions lottery has reached $522 million, the fifth-largest prize in the game’s history, sparking a wave of social media daydreaming about what people do if they won.

The next drawing for the prize, following 22, which failed to produce a jackpot winner, is scheduled for 11 p.m. ET (0300 GMT Wednesday), according to the lottery’s website.

Any winner would get to choose between a lump-sum payout of $308 million before taxes, or an initial installment of more than $7 million followed by 29 annual payments that increase each year.

Some Twitter users laid out plans to buy islands or boats with possible winnings, while the more altruistic sketched dreams of charity.

Even Minnesota’s Orono Police Department got in on the action: “Kinda hard to work today… Thinking about how I’m going to spend my #MegaMillions winnings.”

In March, a New Jersey man won $533 million, the fourth-largest pot in the game’s history and the second-largest win on a single ticket.

Since then, in May, a winning ticket was sold in Ohio to garner $142 million. That jackpot was claimed by a trust.

The Powerball lottery holds the record with a $1.586 billion payout in 2016.

The largest Mega Millions lottery grand prize, won in 2012, amounted to $656 million. Three winning tickets were sold, in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland.