Weekend Jackpot Preview: Mega Millions At $178M, Powerball Could Crack $100M

Eric Raskin

hundred dollar bills

It’s been a busy news week in the lottery world, from possible 2.5x price increases to impossibly hare-brained schemes. But things have been rather ho-hum as major lottery drawings go.

There were no jackpot winners in Powerball or Mega Millions. There was only one million-dollar winner. And both grand prizes simply continued their gradual climb toward — if they keep building for a couple more weeks — the sort of numbers that get people buzzing.

Weekday whiffs inflate weekend jackpots

Mega Millions has the larger of the two jackpots at the moment, estimated at $178 million (cash option: $79.6 million) for Friday night’s drawing.

The most recent draw, on Tuesday night, marked the sixth straight, since a $1.13 billion win on March 26, without a jackpot winner.

And there wasn’t even a Match 5 millionaire crowned. The biggest winners were the three players who matched four white balls and the yellow Mega ball and played the Megaplier, which landed on 4x, giving them each $40,000 instead of $10,000.

Powerball, meanwhile, is up to five straight draws without a jackpot win, bringing the estimated top prize for Saturday’s drawing to $98 million (cash value: $45.8 million). Estimates, however, are sometimes exceeded when all ticket sales are tallied, so a nine-figure score is potentially in play.

In Wednesday’s drawing, at least Powerball snapped its two-draw cold streak without a Match 5. One player in Arizona matched everything but the red Powerball, earning an even million dollars before taxes.

The base price for a ticket in either lottery is $2, and they can be purchased in 45 states (all but Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah), as well as in Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Powerball tickets are also available in Puerto Rico, though Mega Millions tickets are not. In some jurisdictions, a multiplier (branded “Power Play” or “Megaplier”) can be added for an additional dollar.

The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292.2 million, while the Mega Millions grand prize odds are 1 in 302.6 million.

All-Time Biggest Jackpots

Here a list of the all-time top 10 U.S. lottery jackpots, including the two billion-dollar-plus wins in 2024:

  1. $2.04 billion, Powerball, Nov. 7, 2022, won in California
  2. $1.76 billion, Powerball, Oct. 11, 2023, won in California
  3. $1.6 billion, Mega Millions, Aug. 8, 2023, won in Florida
  4. $1.59 billion, Powerball, Jan. 13, 2016, won in California, Florida, and Tennessee
  5. $1.54 billion, Mega Millions, Oct. 23, 2018, won in South Carolina
  6. $1.35 billion, Mega Millions, Jan. 13, 2023, won in Maine
  7. $1.34 billion, Mega Millions, July 29, 2022, won in Illinois
  8. $1.33 billion, Powerball, April 6, 2024, won in Oregon
  9. $1.13 billion, Mega Millions, March 26, 2024, won in New Jersey
  10. $1.08 billion, Powerball, July 19, 2023, won in California

And here’s the all-time top 10 by lump-sum cash value:

  1. $997.6 million, Powerball, Nov. 7, 2022, won in California
  2. $983.5 million, Powerball, Jan. 13, 2016, won in California, Florida, and Tennessee
  3. $877.8 million, Mega Millions, Oct. 23, 2018, won in South Carolina
  4. $794.2 million, Mega Millions, Aug. 8, 2023, won in Florida
  5. $780.5 million, Mega Millions, July 29, 2022, won in Illinois
  6. $776.6 million, Mega Millions, Jan. 22, 2021, won in Michigan
  7. $774.1 million, Powerball, Oct. 11, 2023, won in California
  8. $723.5 million, Mega Millions, Jan. 13, 2023, won in Maine
  9. $621 million, Powerball, April 6, 2024, won in Oregon
  10. $558.1 million, Powerball, July 19, 2023, won in California