Mega Millions Jackpot Creeping Toward A Half-Billion Dollars Entering Holiday Weekend

Eric Raskin

Heading into the three-day Memorial Day weekend, there are 453 million reasons to be excited about Friday’s lottery draw.

After nobody claimed the $421 million Mega Millions jackpot on Tuesday, that grand prize is now up to an estimated $453 million — just the 17th time in Mega Millions history it’s climbed over the $450 million mark. The lump-sum cash value for Friday night’s draw is estimated at $211.3 million.

As for the Powerball drawing on Saturday, the jackpot will be considerably smaller. That one is estimated at $120 million, with a cash option of $56.4 million.

A trio of millionaires

In the $421 million Mega Millions draw on Tuesday, the winning numbers were 2, 5, 8, 28, and 69, with a gold Mega Ball of 14. Although no tickets went a perfect 6-for-6, there were two “Match 5” winners who paired all five white balls. One of them, on a ticket purchased in California, won $1 million, and the other, bought in Louisiana, played the Megaplier and doubled their winnings to $2 million.

Lottery Geeks estimates about 19.36 million tickets were sold for Tuesday’s draw, up slightly from the roughly 19 million purchased for the prior contest. For a weekend draw with a jackpot exceeding $450 million, the sales number figures to rise once again on Friday.

There was one additional millionaire crowned in Powerball this week. In Wednesday’s draw with a $102 million estimated jackpot, the winning numbers were 5, 16, 18, 26, and 67 with a red Powerball of 4, and a player in California matched the five white balls to win $1 million.

Lottery Geeks estimates 9.55 million tickets were sold for that most recent round of Powerball.

Tickets for either draw lottery cost $2 and are sold in 45 of 50 states — all but Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah. Mega Millions tickets can also be purchased in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands, while Powerball operates in those two jurisdictions plus Puerto Rico.

All-Time Biggest Jackpots

Here is a list of the all-time top 10 U.S. lottery jackpots:

  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