Store owner Thuy Nguyen (right) accepts a check for $1 million from Mona Sanders of the California Lottery for selling a winning Mega Millions lottery ticket in San Jose, Calif., Dec. 18. Credit: Courtesy of MCT

Store owner Thuy Nguyen (right) accepts a check for $1 million from Mona Sanders of the California Lottery for selling a winning Mega Millions lottery ticket in San Jose, Calif., Dec. 18.
Credit: Courtesy of MCT

This is part of a weekly series called “Pop Opinions” where The Lantern offers its take on the week’s pop culture news.

CNN sike-out

Money over power or power over money, one thing is for certain — money makes people go batty.

Exhibit A through Z: this past week’s Mega Millions, racking up to $648 million for the holder(s) of a golden ticket. Being the second largest lottery prize in U.S. history, $336 million in tickets were sold, said Mega Millions executive director Paula Otto to CBS News.

Two winning tickets were drawn Tuesday, one sold in Georgia and the other in California, but the good fortune of a couple of extremely lucky individuals is not the best story to come out of this lottery.

If awkwardness could be a medium of art, CNN reporter Martin Savidge just equivocated the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Putting on his best Bob Barker and set to be the bearer of all good news, Savidge pranced to the Georgia newsstand where one of the winning tickets was sold to inform the owner, 58-year-old Korean immigrant Young Soo Lee, that she also won $1 million, a retail bonus the owner of the California store who sold the other winning ticket received.

Of course, as she heard of this extraordinary fortune in which she stumbled, Lee rightfully lost her mind as any human with any decency would.

“Really? Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! I never had so much money!” Lee exclaimed while clutching her chest.

Unfortunately, not really. According to NBC News, Georgia lottery rules provide no bonus for winning tickets, but only a flat 6 percent commission on $1 tickets.

Needless to say, I’d be saltier than the bottom of a Snyder’s of Hanover bag. Luckily in the midst of all the unluckiness, Lee told NBC News she was “a little mad” but still thrilled her store sold fortune to one of its customers.

In other news, Publishers Clearing House will now be burning humungous checks in people’s front lawns two minutes after declaring them winners while “The Price Is Right” will challenge winners to redeem their cash prizes as their money is systematically run through a 6-second shredder.

And a partridge in an Apple tree

If you are all about that partridge-in-a-pear-tree life, it will cost you $27,393 to buy all the gifts mentioned in “The 12 Days of Christmas’” final verse this year. If you hate birds and fruit trees and have approximately $139 in your savings account, Apple has released the 12 Days of Gifts app for iPhone and iPad.

By downloading the app to your Apple device of choice, you’ll have the chance to redeem a free gift via iTunes — including songs, other apps, books and movies — each day from Dec. 26 to Jan. 6.

I’ve sat underneath the Apple Christmas tree and shook all the boxes. Here are my 12 predictions for their 12 days of gifts:

  • An app that guarantees every time you call someone, you will accidentally — and undesirably — Facetime them

  • An update that turns all text in the phone display to a fuschia Comic Sans

  • Eminem rapping the entirety of “Fifty Shades of Grey” in a featured audiobook

  • The 100 percent authentic and real Poop Analyzer app

  • A free download of Paris Hilton’s new single “Good Time” featuring Lil Wayne

  • An autocorrect update that will ruin your life in no less than five days by automatically changing every four-letter word to something you definitely did not mean (“I swear baby!!! It was the phone!”)

  • The impossibility to disable notifications for any and all of your social media apps

  • A self-cracking iPhone screen for those who are just too careful

  • Four additional non-deletable apps to check stock prices

  • “Breaking Bad’s” series finale that automatically plays upon download — whether you wanted it to or not

  • Kanye West’s 45-minute podcast explaining why Kim Kardashian deserves a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

  • Miley Cyrus. Everyone gets a free Miley Cyrus.

The 12 Days of Gifts app is available for free at the iTunes App Store.