Mega Millions Does Something It Has Only Done Twice Before

Jackpot crossed $1B mark for third time in game's history
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 27, 2022 1:18 AM CDT
Updated Jul 27, 2022 6:21 AM CDT
Mega Millions Jackpot Balloons to $1.02B
Mike Boyle displays Mega Millions lottery Quick Picks he purchased at Lichine's Liquors & Deli in Sacramento, Calif., on Tuesday, July 26, 2022.   (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

A giant Mega Millions lottery jackpot ballooned to $1.02 billion after no one matched all six numbers Tuesday night and won the top prize, the AP reports. The new estimated jackpot will be the nation’s fourth-largest lottery prize. Per NBC Chicago, the top three US jackpots are: a $1.586 billion Powerball in January 2016, a $1.5 billion Mega Millions in October 2018, and another Mega Millions that went over $1 billion in January 2021. ABC News points out that makes this just the third time in Mega Millions' 20-year existence that the jackpot has crossed the $1 billion mark.

The $1.02 billion prize is for winners who choose the annuity option, paid annually over 30 years. Most winners opt for the cash option, which for the next drawing Friday night is an estimated $602.5 million. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 302.5 million. Mega Millions is played in 45 states as well as Washington, DC, and the US Virgin Islands. The game is coordinated by state lotteries.

The jackpot has grown so large because no one has matched the game’s six selected numbers since April 15. That’s 29 consecutive drawings without a big winner. Tuesday’s numbers were: 07-29-60-63-66, Mega Ball: 15. Per the New York Post, eight people did win a million bucks each in Tuesday night's drawing by matching five of the numbers, and a ninth person won $3 million by matching five numbers including the megaplier. (More Mega Millions stories.)

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