Mega Millions Jackpot Almost 10 Times The Size Of Powerball Grand Prize This Weekend

Eric Raskin

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What’s a better way to spend $2: on a 1-in-292.2-million chance of winning $36 million, or on 1-in-302.6 million chance of winning $331 million?

(You shouldn’t have to spend too much time thinking about this one.)

Friday’s Mega Millions jackpot is nearing one-third of a billion dollars after a dozen consecutive draws without a grand-prize win. In fact, it could exceed one-third of a billion bucks when all is said and done, as the $331 million is only an estimate (with an estimated lump-sum cash option of $153.1 million).

Saturday’s Powerball drawing, on the other hand, is for a mere estimated $36 million up top (cash value: $16.8 million), since a lucky player in Florida won the $215 million jackpot on Monday, causing a reset of the top prize.

Monday magic didn’t repeat Tuesday or Wednesday

Since that massive Monday score on a ticket sold a Miami Shores Publix, there’s been one Powerball draw, on Wednesday, and it crowned one millionaire but no winners of the $20 million jackpot.

The winning numbers were 7, 41, 43, 44, 51, and a red Powerball of 5. One player in Michigan hit everything but the red ball, scoring an even million bucks before taxes.

In this week’s lone Mega Millions drawing, on Tuesday night, the estimated jackpot was $306 million, and nobody was able to claim it.

The winning numbers there were 26, 28, 36, 63, 66, and gold Mega Ball 15. Three players, in ArizonaCalifornia, and Florida, matched the five white balls to pocket $1 million apiece before taxes.

In total on Tuesday, 684,105 players won a prize of some sort, and since Mega Millions says the chances of winning a prize on any ticket are 1 in 24, we can estimate that about 16.4 million tickets were purchased. For comparison’s sake, when the jackpot was $1.13 billion on March 26, there were more than 3.69 million winners and an estimated 88.6 million tickets sold — giving a sense of what “jackpot fever” looks like when the grand prize crosses that magical billion-dollar mark.

Tickets for either draw lottery are sold in 45 of the 50 states (all but Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah), as well as in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands, and — for Powerball only — Puerto Rico. Tickets cost $2 apiece, with an option in some states to pay an extra $1 for the prize multiplier.

All-Time Biggest Jackpots

Here 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