In the story done by USA Today about the Mega Millions jackpot, the reporter uses various facts and figures to get his point across.
The article talks about the total jackpot winnings and how much each of the three winners gets once the money is split and divided by taxes. It also goes on to discuss the odds of winning the $640 million jackpot. The reporter also incorporates how much money was spend on the lottery tickets and how that money will be divided by the lottery, state, stores, etc.
The numbers aren't very overwhelming because the reporter rarely uses more than one figure in a paragraph. It is also easy to read and interesting because everyone loves to hear about money and fantasize what they would do if it was their own.
From what I can tell it doesn't seem like the reporter did much math on his own but rather got his information from other sources. A lot of people throw numbers at the reporter, from the lottery officials to people talking about how much they spent. At one point it does state how much lottery ticket buyers spent across the country and I imagine the reporter did do some math to figure out the number.