Shrunken Jackpots, Many Millionaires At End Of Busy Draw Lottery Week

Eric Raskin

lottery ball wheel

The so-called “jackpot fever” that gripped the lottery world in March and April, as grand prize amounts in both Powerball and Mega Millions crossed over the billion-dollar threshold, is long gone.

There is no fever around this weekend’s draws; the Mega Millions jackpot is at an estimated $47 million for Friday night, and Powerball’s is an even less enticing $34 million for Saturday.

But while the jackpots are both just a couple of notches above their $20 million starting levels, the fact is we’re wrapping up a week an eventful week in the draw lottery sphere.

There was a $223 million jackpot hit in Powerball on Monday, there was a partial reveal of the $552 million Mega Millions winner from the week before, and there was an anonymous group called “The Breakfast Club” collecting some $305 million after taxes, which sounds a lot more fun than spending their Saturday together in detention.

And on top of all that, two additional millionaires were crowned in Powerball on Wednesday, while a staggering seven players won a million bucks or more in Tuesday’s Mega Millions thanks assuredly to an onslaught of low numbers.

Birthday bonanza

As economist Victor Matheson told Lottery Geeks earlier this year, there is a tendency among people who choose their own numbers to select low ones because they’ll often pick numbers based on people’s birthdays — and anything over 31 can’t be anybody’s birthday.

This theory was proven quite true in Mega Millions Tuesday.

The winning numbers were 1, 5, 7, 22, and 24, with a gold Mega Ball of 8.

In a typical draw, one or two players connect on all five white balls. In this draw, with these low numbers, there were a magnificent seven such winners.

Three of them — two in Florida, one in New York — played the Megaplier for an extra dollar and won $4 million apiece before taxes. The other four settled for a mere million bucks each, bringing that money home to Georgia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New York again.

That was just the second Mega Millions drawing since the $552 million jackpot hit last Tuesday. So after grand prize whiffs for $20 million and $30 million, the top prize for Friday sits at $47 million, with a lump-sum cash option of $21.8 million.

Powerball’s jackpot reset to $20 million for Wednesday’s draw, and though no tickets went a perfect six-for-six, there were two additional million-dollar winners who connected on all five white balls — one in California, one in Michigan.

Here the numbers were not all low enough to be people’s birthdays, with the winning digits being 19, 30, 31, 61, and 62, with a red Powerball of 21.

For Saturday night, the Powerball jackpot ascends to an estimated $34 million, or $16 million for the cash option.

Tickets for either lottery cost $2, with an option in some states to play the multiplier for an extra $1. Both Powerball and Mega Millions are available in every state except 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 is available in both of those 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