Mega Millions soars to $636M, but is winning a curse? - Dallas News |

Lottery debate: Mega Millions soars to $636M, but is winning a curse?

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The Mega Millions jackpot soared to an estimated $636 million on Tuesday, making it the second largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history.

The top prize had been estimated at $586 million, but lottery officials increased their prediction Tuesday morning because of strong ticket sales ahead of the evening drawing. The jackpot now trails only a $656 million Mega Millions pot that was sold in March 2012.

The cash option is $341 million, before taxes.

The prize money has a lot of people daydreaming of big bucks. But, if you look at the history of lottery winners, hitting one these jackpots leads to a nightmare more often than you would think. Big money can cause big problems. There are tales of family fights, blowing through money too quickly and going broke, and even premature death.

Just this year, a Chicago man was found to have died of cyanide poisoning just two months after winning a $1 million scratch-off ticket.

CPA John Kopczyk and clinical psychologist Jeremy Clorfene join FOX 32 to help lottery players figure out how to win big money and live happily ever after.

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