Mega Millions: World Record Lottery Jackpot Brings USA to a Grinding Halt
NEW YORK, March 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ –
Demand for lottery tickets causes widespread chaos
Demand for the world’s first ever half billion dollar lottery jackpot is threatening
to bring America to its knees as lottery terminals clog up internet bandwidth and the
quest for lottery tickets disrupts everyday life.
As the Mega Millions jackpot continues to climb ahead of tonight’s draw, with some
rumours predicting it could go even higher than $640 million, stories are emerging of
paper shortages due to the need to print more lottery tickets, gas stations running dry as
people fill up their cars to get to the nearest lottery agent and mobile phone networks
clogged with people talking about the biggest jackpot prize in history.
“I queued 4 hours to get my tickets yesterday and I’m glad I did, because today it’s
even crazier. Some people even camped outside the store to be first in this morning,” said
Bill Singleton of Kern County, Southern California. “I’m talking to you right now holding
my tickets, which is more than I can say for some people. My local store had to stop
selling them when they ran out of paper.”
It’s believed that around 768,000 rolls of paper will be needed to print the tickets
for tonight’s draw and the problems don’t end with the lottery itself. There are estimates
that the draw will cost the US economy up to $200 million in lost man hours as people take
time off work to queue for their tickets.
Internet search traffic has surged as people try to find where to get their tickets,
with Google reporting more than 1.2 million searches for ‘Mega Millions’ today alone. One
lottery website, WinTrillions.com [http://www.wintrillions.com ], which provides an online
service for people to play the lottery, has had to extend its server bandwidth 14 times in
24 hours to cope with demand.
“This is unprecedented, we’ve never seen anything like it since we launched in 2005,”
said Sergio Asuncion, IT Manager at WinTrillions. “Luckily we’ve managed to cope and keep
the site up and running, but I did hear that one of our rivals websites had literally
collapsed under the pressure. This is a historic jackpot and people want to make sure they
get their tickets, no matter what.”
Finally, there are concerns that America’s famously antiquated power grid could be put
under strain when up to 200 million people turn on their TVs to watch tonight’s Mega
Millions draw. Tomorrow’s newspapers will be clogged with stories on the jackpot winner,
providing there’s enough paper left to print them.