Lottery jackpot hits £391 million. How can you play?

Two ways to play the US lottery whose jackpot has just hit £391 million

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Mega Millions Jackpot

The Mega Millions lottery in the US now has the 7th biggest jackpot in US history - at £391 million. That's six times bigger than the biggest ever UK National Lottery jackpot - and two and a half times bigger than the largest ever Euromillions jackpot. And despite this being a US lottery, there are two easy ways to take part.

The Mega Millions jackpot has now rolled over 34 times - ever since March 11th this year. It hasn't quite reached the astonishing $1 billion that the Powerball hit in January this year, but it's more than half way there.

The draw takes place on Friday evening, when someone somewhere could walk away with more money than they could ever hope to spend in a lifetime.

How can you play?

The lottery is open to residents anywhere in the world. However, they don't allow for the game to be played by mail, so you need to buy a ticket in the US. For most people, it's a long way to go just to buy a lottery ticket (especially one that has odds of 259 million to one of winning the jackpot), but there are two ways to play.

The first is through TheLotter.com. This lets you pick your numbers online, but instead of buying direct from Mega Millions, TheLotter will go to a retailer in the US and buy a ticket on your behalf. If you win the jackpot, you may have to travel to America to pick up your cash, but TheLotter will pay for your flights.

It's worth bearing in mind, however, that in most states, lottery winner information is public domain. It means that everyone in America and around the world will know you are a winner - so you will lose any chance at all of anonymity. There's a risk that you will spend a great deal of the rest of your life fighting claims on the money.

One alternative, which means you can stay anonymous, is to bet on the outcome through Lottoland.co.uk. The bets are designed to generate wins that are the same size as the jackpot, but instead of winning the jackpot itself, you win the equivalent. It means you don't have to adhere to the rules of the lottery, and don't have to tell anyone at all that you're suddenly worth half a billion dollars.

Do you really want to win?

The only question that remains, therefore, is whether you really do want to win this kind of money. A recent survey by FreePostcodeLottery.com found that four in 10 Brits think winning big on the lottery would cause more harm than good. Among the biggest worries were causing problems in their relationship, family arguments, and everyone they know suddenly coming to them for money.

But what do you think? Would you be worried about winning hundreds of millions of pounds? Or do you think you'd manage to put a brave face on it? Let us know in the comments.

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