Transcript for We have a winner: Mega Millions winner could take $1.6 billion jackpot
life-changing reality. Here's ABC's Adrian Benker. Reporter: Tonight, at long last, there's a winner. It's a record-breaking $1.6 billion. Reporter: They're the numbers we've all been waiting for. That mega ball number is 5. Reporter: Mega millions went mega billion in the world's largest drawing worth a whopping $1.6 billion. I'll go crazy with the whole thing. I wouldn't know what to do with it. Reporter: A record-breaking jackpot with the unprecedented cash payout of $904 million. Across the country, people have been catching lotto fever. I'm holding the lucky money right here. Reporter: 75% of the more than 302 million possible combinations were expected to be sold before Tuesday night's drawing. I bought five tickets. It's not how many you buy. You got to get the lucky ticket. ??? I want to be a billionaire so freaking bad ??? Reporter: Bruno Mars' timely hit could be this New York mom's theme song. Hi. I'm here to buy 5,535 New York mega millions tickets. Great. We'll get that going for you. Reporter: Lindsey is one of 2,000 moms who met in this Facebook group, all of them hopeful they get a piece of the jackpot. It's a phenomenon that's captured the imagination of people from every walk of life, dreaming of what to buy first after cashing in that winning ticket. I would buy houses for all of my children. Reporter: You could buy the Buffalo bills football team or 1.6 million iPhone Xs. That's enough to passne out to every person in Philadelphia. With its nightly $30,000 price tag, you could stay in this luxury suite at the four seasons hotel New York every night for the rest of your life and still have hundreds of millions of dollars left to spend. Maybe consider a new set of wheels. This is my roll around town car. No, this is the bugate. It's worth just under $2 million. 1,000 horsepower. Top speed of 260 miles per hour. And it's currently the most expensive car that Manhattan motor cars has on its lot. Hi, hi. Welcome. Reporter: I'm so excited. Look at this gorgeous place. Or perhaps you'd prefer to move on up. This feels rich. To a penthouse. You have a full view down to the south. Reporter: Douglas is selling this apartment in soho with enviable 360-degree views of Manhattan, three blocks, two grills and a sunken jacuzzi. So private. You could afford to buy it 92 times with its more than $17 million price tag. Good to have some money in the bank. Reporter: That means you've got to make it big or win big. We have 25 mega ball numbers that you choos from. Reporter: My colleague talked to John crow as he prepared to call Tuesday's big numbers. It's mega millions. You're live on television. $1.6 billion. What's going through your mind? Really that somebody's life is going to change. Like this is a record-breaking jackpot, and it's exciting to know that I'm calling numbers that can change somebody's life. Reporter: The mega millions game was recently changed, making it harder to win, but it's creating those bigger jackpots. And there's still Wednesday night's Powerball drawing, worth an estimated $620 million. The cash value, $354.3 million. Winning puts you in the ranks of these happy folks. Laurie Finkle stein and her 11 coworkers each chipped in $20 to their office Powerball pool. My husband looked it up and he said, babe, I think it's a million. Reporter: The real estate team claimed $1 million total, and they hope lightning strikes twice. We're going to buy some tickets tomorrow and see if we get the $1.6 billion with a "B." Reporter: But back in 2015, one member of the team told my colleague, Debra Roberts, that that money is all gone. What did you do with the money? Honestly, I blew it. Did you have a good time? I had a great time. Reporter: The all-too familiar lesson, lottery winnings are not necessarily a golden ticket to happiness. Mr. Andrew jack Whittaker. Reporter: In 2002, west Virginia native Andrew Whittaker woke up on Christmas morning to the biggest gift of all time. I was hoping I'd win it but I never believed anybody could win it. Reporter: He'd won the Powerball jackpot of $315 million. Overnight, he became a television celebrity. I need $68,000 or I'm going to lose my home. Reporter: He ended up giving away, he says, at least $50 million in houses, cars, and cash. He was robbed, even blackmailed, and eventually lost much more. His granddaughter died. He believes because of a drug habit his winnings paid for. I pretty much lost everything I held dear in my life. Reporter: And he and his wife divorced. Money doesn't rule the world. Money is not what makes people happy. You know, family is what is dear. Reporter: But some lottery winners do get their happily ever after. Certainly possible to have a happy life as a lottery winner. Reporter: Washington, D.C., based attorney David Wilmont says he knows how to do it. A mystery client once approached him back in 2009. He came with his grandson and I invited them in and we sat down and he reached into his jacket pocket and he pulled an envelope out and he said, I am the winner of the lottery. And I want you to represent me. Reporter: Wilmot showed him how to protect his $144 million windfall. I suggested to him that in the district of Columbia, you can remain anonymous, and it would be in his best interest to do so. Reporter: They created an LLC which set the mystery client up for a happy and undisturbed life. He's doing just fine. If you have money and you manage it wisely, you can have more money. Reporter: Wilmot's client may have benefitted but not everyone views the lottery so positively. The lottery system has been derided as a de facto tax on the poor while a Gallup poll shows that a higher percentage of upper income families report buying tickets in the last year, lower income families are more likely to spend a higher percentage of their income on smaller pots like instant scratchoffs. The problem is getting people to save instead of spend. Saving is the antithesis of fun. Reporter: It's why Michael and his team saw an opportunity to create grand. We're grand. We make saving feel more like winning. Reporter: An app that lets people feel like they're playing the lottery but designed to get them to save. Think of it as a gummy vitamin for your finances. It's doing something you don't like to do it and makes it fun and tasty and incentivizes you to do it. Reporter: The weekly prize ranges from $1,000 to $25,000, all partly funded by the $2 monthly fee on users. Every dollar a user saves is an entry to their weekly jackpot. Reporter: Instead of spending $10 down at the liquor store, I just save $10 of my own money. Reporter: If you don't win, the money you saved remains in your account. But for those hopeful moms in New York who spent tens of thousands on lottery tickets, their billion dollar hopes are now hanging on just six numbers. It's hope. Right here. It's good luck. We need everybody to, you know, touch it for good luck. Reporter: For "Nightline," I'm Adrian in New York. Our thanks to Adrian and once again, there's at least one winning ticket of the record mega millions jackpot. That ticket was sold in south Carolina.
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