Oct 20, 2018

Mega Millions grand prize reaches $1.6 billion

Mega Millions ticket. Photo: Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Mega Millions grand prize is now officially tied for the largest lottery prize in U.S. history and is still poised to grow from its current $1.6 billion mark, making it one of six other top 10 drawings in the last three years, the AP's Scott McFertridge writes.

The big picture: Lottery officials have lessened the odds of winning a jackpot, increasing the opportunity for huge prizes that attract more attention and more money being spent on $2 Mega Millions or Powerball tickets despite the lower odds. In turn, older lottery grand prizes have been dwarfed.

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World coronavirus updates: Half of the globe is on lockdown

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

About half of the planet's population is on lockdown amid the coronavirus crisis.

The latest: About half of deaths worldwide are in Italy and Spain, with fatalities exponentially increasing all over Europe. The global death toll exceeded 55,000 on Friday, per Johns Hopkins data.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates: 700,000 jobs lost in March, death toll still rising

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The U.S. lost 701,000 jobs in March, but the report doesn't reflect the height of the virus' impact on the economy. The jobless hits right now are like a natural disaster striking every state at the same time.

The state of play: Payments to Americans from the $2.2 trillion stimulus package will be distributed in mid-April, but those without IRS direct deposit accounts may not receive checks until August, according to a House Ways and Means Committee memo first reported by CNN and confirmed by Axios.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health

Skepticism rises over government's small business bailouts

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

America today launched its $350 billion bailout for small businesses, and already there is widespread skepticism that the program will run smoothly or be large enough to meet demand.

What's new: House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy yesterday said that the affiliation rule will be waived for any company with less than 500 employees that doesn't have a controlling outside shareholder, thus making most VC-backed startups eligible for PPP loans. This was based on a conversation he'd just had with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.