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Mega Millions: Will lotteries and other gambling move to the Internet?

In December, the US Department of Justice announced that it was reversing its position that all Internet gambling was illegal, clearing the way for a potential boom in online gambling. 

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Photo illustration of an online gambler visiting poker.com.

Ann Hermes/The Christian Science Monitor

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For the millions of Americans who bought Mega Millions lottery tickets, the waiting is over.

The vast majority lost, as they knew they would in a gamble with mega-long odds (176 million to one). A handful won. The names of those whose tickets matched the ten winning numbers haven’t been announced yet, but state officials in Kansas, Illinois, and Maryland say winning tickets were sold there.

They’ll split what’s left of the $640 million jackpot (combined from 42 state lotteries) after Uncle Sam and state taxing authorities claim their share. Others whose $1 ticket matched some of the winning numbers could be paid lesser amounts ranging from $2 to $250,000 (where the odds still were 4 million to one).

States are the biggest winners. Lottery ticket buyers spent some $1.5 billion, most of which goes into state coffers.

The Monitor's View: The odds and ends of Mega Millions jackpot lottery

Forty-three states now have lotteries, and some gambling advocates are pushing to legalize online lotteries and other forms of Internet gambling.

In December, the US Department of Justice announced that it was reversing its position that all Internet gambling was illegal, clearing the way for a potential boom in online gambling. 

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