DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Lottery players will have a shot Tuesday night at the eighth-largest jackpot in U.S. history due to months without a winner of the big prize.
The Mega Millions $625 million jackpot is the largest lottery prize in nearly two years. The big prize for Powerball, the other national lottery game, isn’t far behind, at $550 million for Wednesday night’s drawing.
The jackpot’s estimated cash value is now $458.8 million. Combined with Wednesday night’s estimated annuitized $550 million Powerball® jackpot, Texas Lottery® players are now playing for more than $1.175 billion in jackpot prizes this week.
Mega Millions officials increased the jackpot estimate at midday Tuesday.
“As excitement continues to build for this week’s jackpot drawings, we are seeing a strong increase in Mega Millions and Powerball sales, which ultimately generates important revenue for public education in Texas,” said Gary Grief, executive director of the Texas Lottery. “We are hopeful that the lucky winner of at least one of these dueling jackpots will be a Texas Lottery player. Should that occur, the retailer would be eligible to receive a $1 million retailer bonus for selling the jackpot-winning ticket.”
The jackpots promoted by lotteries refer to the winnings of those who opt for annuities paid out over 30 years. Nearly all jackpot winners actually take the cash option, which would be an estimated $458.8 million for Mega Millions and $411.4 million for Powerball.
Those dreaming of instant riches might want to remember that the odds of winning Powerball are one in 292.2 million. They’re even steeper for Mega Millions, at one in 302.5 million.
Mega Millions and Powerball are both played in 45 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Powerball also is offered in Puerto Rico.
To win the Mega Millions jackpot, players must match all six numbers drawn including the Mega Ball. Players matching fewer numbers may not win the jackpot, but still walk away winners.
Mega Millions offers a $20 Million starting jackpot and a second-tier (Match 5+0) prize of $1 million. By choosing the Megaplier® for $1 more per play, players can multiply their non-jackpot winnings by two, three, four or five times, winning as much as $5 million.
Drawings are broadcast each Tuesday and Friday at 10:12 p.m. CT. Ticket sales for the next Mega Millions drawing will close at 9:45 p.m. CT on Tuesday. Texas Lottery players can purchase Mega Millions tickets at more than 20,000 Texas Lottery retailers across the state.
About the Texas Lottery
Beginning with the first ticket sold in 1992, the Texas Lottery has generated $32 billion in revenue for the state and distributed $67 billion in prizes to lottery players. Since 1997, the Texas Lottery has contributed $26.2 billion to the Foundation School Fund, which supports public education in Texas.
As authorized by the Texas Legislature, certain Texas Lottery revenues benefit state programs including the Fund for Veterans’ Assistance. Since the first veterans’ themed scratch ticket game was launched in 2009, the Texas Lottery has contributed more than $148 million for programs supporting Texas veterans.
The Texas Lottery provides several entertaining games for lottery players including Powerball®, Mega Millions®, Lotto Texas ®, All or Nothing™, Texas Two Step®, Pick 3™, Daily 4™, Cash Five® and scratch ticket games. For more information visit us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or at www.txlottery.org. PLAY RESPONSIBLY.