Special reports:
January 8, 2016
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It has been over two months since someone last picked all six numbers correctly in Powerball — and because no one won on Wednesday, the pool has bloated to a mind-blowing amount of money. "I don't even know how to describe it. This has never happened before," California State Lottery spokesman Alex Traverso told The Los Angeles Times Thursday.

Cut to the chase — how much will I win?

The current estimated Powerball jackpot is \$800 million. It could increase to \$900 million by Saturday's drawing.

Okay, I'm in. How much does it cost to play?

\$2.

What are the odds I'll win?

Any given ticket has a 1 in 292.2 million chance of winning.

Sounds all right!

Actually, no. "The probability [of winning] is so small, dare say impossible. It's like trying to count electrons or drops of water in the ocean or grains of sand in the world. We just can't imagine these types of things," Jeffrey Miecznikowski, an associate professor of biostatistics the University of Buffalo, told The Associated Press. Try your luck out for yourself: The odds of winning are the same as flipping a quarter and getting heads 28 times in a row.

So how do I pick the winning ticket?

Your odds are actually better if you let a computer pick, according to Scott A. Norris, an assistant professor of mathematics at Southern Methodist University. Because people tend to use birth dates and favorite numbers, they generally pick numbers below 31 — and there are 69 numbered balls in play. The Multi-State Lottery Association says that about 75 percent of tickets are computer picks and about 75 percent of winners are computer picks.

Does it help to buy more tickets?

The short answer is yes, but keep in mind that the odds are still really, really, really low even if you buy a bunch of tickets.

Okay smart guy, what if I buy all of the possible number combinations?

Fine — but at \$2 a ticket, that would cost you \$584 million and, after taxes, that would mean you end up actually losing money.

So what happens if no one wins?

The next prize is expected to surpass \$1 billion.

I won! Now what?

Decide how you get paid. The millions can either be doled out over 30 years, or in an immediate \$428.4 million in cash. Keep this in mind: Federal and state taxes eat up about half the earnings of the cash prize option.

3:44 a.m. ET
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

On Monday, the Iditarod Trail Committee identified four-time champion Dallas Seavey as the musher whose dogs tested positive for a banned substance, the opioid pain reliever Tramadol, after initially declining to release his name, citing legal advice and a lack of proof of intent to dope. A group of 83 current and former competitors in the 1,000-mile Alaska dogsled race had demanded Monday morning that the committee identify the suspected musher within 72 hours, prompting an emergency meeting. After the meeting, the Iditarod organizers said they had decided to name Seavey due to the "level of unhealthy speculation involved in this matter."

In a video posted on Facebook Monday evening, Seavey denied giving banned drugs to his dogs and said he has withdrawn from the 2018 race, because he won't be "thrown under the bus." Seavey, 30, said he has "done absolutely nothing wrong" and doesn't care if he ever races again. He added that he would probably have been banned from the race anyway, citing the Iditarod Trail Committee's rule against mushers criticizing the race or its sponsors. This is the first case of banned substances found in dogs in the Iditarod's history.

2:47 a.m. ET

George Clooney stepped into the long-running (presumably fake) feud between Matt Damon and Jimmy Kimmel on Monday's Kimmel Live, and he used his newborn twins as bait. "The babies are here," Clooney said. "Would you like to see them?" He called out his "manny," Damon, who proceeded to get the better of Kimmel in a volley of taunts. "You know what, George? I feel like you betrayed me in a way," Kimmel said, reasonably. And then Damon — who has been pretending to try to get on Kimmel's show for years — brought out the "twins," which are safe for work due to image-blurring. Watch below.

2:24 a.m. ET

Former Fox News star Bill O'Reilly is really angry and aggrieved about the New York Times report that he paid \$32 million in January to settle claims that he repeatedly sexually harassed and engaged in "a nonconsensual sexual relationship" with a longtime Fox News analyst, six months before Fox News fired him for other, smaller sexual harassment payouts. "If they could literally kill me, they would," he said of his critics on his web-only series, No Spin News, on Monday, CNNMoney reports. Specifically, he is mad at the news media he says is trying to destroy him — probably now including former colleague Megyn Kelly — and he said he's also angry at God for letting this happen to him.

"You know, am I mad at God? Yeah, I'm mad at him," O'Reilly said. "I wish I had more protection. I wish this stuff didn't happen. I can't explain it to you. Yeah, I'm mad at him." He has consistently denied sexually harassing and assaulting women, but he has not denied the \$32 million settlement. "If I die tomorrow and I get an opportunity," O'Reilly said on his show, "I'll say, 'Why'd you guys work me over like that? Didn't [you] know my children were going to be punished? And they're innocent.'" As CNN's Anderson Cooper notes below, O'Reilly often brings up his children when confronted with sexual misconduct allegations. You can watch Brian Stelter's recap of the latest O'Reilly saga, plus hear O'Reilly curse out The New York Times, in the video below.

1:54 a.m. ET

Trevor Noah may have no idea what it means to call someone an "empty barrel," but he's sure of one thing: White House Chief of Staff John Kelly needs to apologize to Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) after he "successfully maligned" the congresswoman last week.

When Kelly replaced Reince Priebus over the summer, it was an appointment widely praised, with pundits calling him "a force for good." This sounded extreme — "It's not the Death Star, everyone in there is supposed to be a force for good," Noah said on Monday's Daily Show — but the retired four-star general was well-respected and seemed likely to be able to control President Trump. That's why it came as a surprise when he "put his credibility on the line" last week and defended Trump after Wilson said she heard Trump's "insensitive" remarks to Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, who was killed earlier this month in Niger.

"He didn't just step into the fight, he started throwing punches," Noah said. Kelly ridiculed Wilson for listening to Trump's phone call, even though he also heard the conversation since he was next to Trump, and then attacked Wilson's character, calling her an "empty barrel." "Where I come from, you don't call someone an empty barrel, because no one knows what that means," Noah joked. Kelly also claimed Wilson bragged about securing funding for an FBI building in Florida, but video later released by a local newspaper showed she spent her time saluting law enforcement. People believed him, though, because "John Kelly would never say anything that wasn't true — or so we thought," Noah said. Now, it's time for him to make things right with Wilson, a former educator and founder of the 5,000 Role Models of Excellence Project. "She's not an empty barrel," Noah said. "She's someone who deserves an apology."

1:14 a.m. ET
Riccardo Savi/Getty Images for Concordia Summit

The Environmental Protection Agency is hiring 12 new security agents to add to Administrator Scott Pruitt's already unprecedented around-the-clock security detail, CNN reported Monday night, citing "sources with knowledge of the situation" and help-wanted ads. The new agents will cost the agency at least \$2 million a year in salaries, plus training, equipment, vehicles, travel, and other expenses. CNN said it has withheld details about the size of Pruitt's security detail, but Talking Points Memo says the dozen additional agents will bring his guard count to 30 agents.

No previous EPA chief has requested or received 24/7 protection, EPA assistant inspector general Patrick Sullivan told CNN, but "the EPA is a lightening rod," and Pruitt has received "four to five times the number of threats" as his predecessor, Gina McCarthy. "We get threats from both sides of the spectrum," he added. McCarthy had a total of five guards, mostly for travel outside Washington.

Pruitt is also much more secretive than former EPA chiefs, installing a sound-proof phone booth (\$25,000) in his office and security access card systems in and around his office (\$15,780), and keeping cleaning crews out of his office during non-working hours. "It's unclear if Pruitt and his staff are guarding against outside threats, internal leakers, or both," CNN says. "EPA sources have described Pruitt as distrustful of career staffers at the agency."

Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.) have asked the EPA inspector general if "taxpayer funds are being misused," noting that Pruitt's security bill "during his first quarter as EPA administrator is nearly double what the two previous administrators spent on security over that same timeframe," and that's before the new agents. Pruitt has also notched at least \$58,000 in chartered and government flights, all while planning to cut the agency budget by 30 percent.

12:50 a.m. ET

Two times a day, Harvey Djerf, 95, sets off for a walk around his Plymouth, Minnesota, neighborhood, covering almost a mile. If he gets tired, it's not a problem — his neighbors have put chairs on their lawns so he always has a place to rest.

The World War II veteran and retired biology teacher has been walking in this neighborhood for 64 years, and he said his fellow residents have noticed that as he gets older he has to stop more to catch his breath. "It's a wonderful experience and it's a social experience, and I get to know the neighbors and they get to know me," he told CBS News.

Djerf said his wife of 69 years, who had a stroke and is in an assisted living facility, always told him he was "antsy," and he admits he "can't sit still," which is why he never misses a walk. He's hoping that by watching him stroll by, his neighbors will be motivated to put their walking shoes on, too.

12:01 a.m. ET

At one point during a benefit show for hurricane victims in College Station, Texas, on Saturday, former President George W. Bush leaned over to his successor, Barack Obama, and cracked a joke while his predecessor, Bill Clinton, was talking about the ongoing struggle in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. That "one really light-hearted moment" went "around the internet," Stephen Colbert said on Monday's Late Show, but "we don't have the audio — Bush's mic isn't on — so we don't know what he said. But we can speculate ... or just make it up."

So Colbert dusted off his Dubya voice and tried out a few wisecracks. Some were pretty funny — "\$20 if you pants Clinton right now" probably got the biggest laugh — but it turns out that the moment was so good, just about anything worked. Watch below.