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. (Read more Mega Millions stories.)