Mega Millions Jackpot Rises To $1.1 Billion, 10th U.S. Lottery Prize Ever To Cross Into Billions

Eric Raskin

lottery kiosk display

For the 30th drawing in a row, Mega Millions failed on Friday night to produce a grand prize winner, pushing the estimated jackpot over the billion-dollar mark for the 10th time in U.S. lottery history.

The estimate for Tuesday’s drawing is $1.1 billion. The lump-sum cash option, as opposed to smaller annualized payments, will cross the half-billion mark, at an estimated $525.8 million.

Friday’s estimated jackpot was just shy of a billion bucks at $997 million, and none of the tens of millions of tickets sold were a perfect match for the numbers of 3, 8, 31, 35 and 44, plus the gold Mega Ball 16.

So the grand prize rolls over and inflates again, as it has every time since the last winner was crowned on Dec. 8.

“Lottery fever continues to spread throughout the country,” Georgia Lottery President and CEO Gretchen Corbin, lead director of the Mega Millions Consortium, said in a press release in which she also encouraged those feeling that fever “to play responsibly.”

Six new millionaires (before taxes)

Although nobody claimed the near-billion-dollar prize on Friday night, there were six tickets sold that hit all five white balls and secured the next-biggest prize.

For five of those six ticket holders, that meant turning $2 into $1 million (before taxes).

For one of those six, the one that paid an extra dollar for the Megaplier, which landed on “3x,” it meant turning $3 into $3 million.

That $3 million ticket was sold in the Virginia. The other five were sold in California, Florida, Illinois, Nebraska, and Texas.

The estimated $1.1 billion jackpot for Tuesday’s drawing would make it the eighth largest U.S. jackpot ever won, and the fifth richest Mega Millions win. A 2022 Powerball drawing holds the No. 1 spot overall, at $2.04 billion for the annuity option.

The lottery excitement for the weekend isn’t over yet, as Saturday night features a Powerball drawing with an estimated $750 million jackpot.

Tickets for either draw lottery are sold in all states except Alabama (which is considering legalizing lottery play), Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah.