For the fourth time in a little more than four years, the Mega Millions jackpot has topped $1 billion, leaving millions of gamblers in the losing end of the game, because almost all of all the hundreds of millions of tickets sold were losers.
After no ticket matched all six numbers drawn Friday night – the white balls 3, 20, 46, 59 and 63, plus the gold Mega Ball 13 – the annuity jackpot for the next drawing on Tuesday, January 10, is currently estimated at $1.1 billion.
That means if a single person wins the drawing, he or she will be paid $568.7 million in cash because nobody has accepted lottery annuities in a very long time.
It would be the third largest jackpot in the game’s history, according to game officials.
“Mega Millions has just reached the $1 billion mark again. It’s especially nice to see the jackpot grow throughout the holidays and into the new year,” says Ohio Lottery Director Pat McDonald, lead director of the Mega Millions Consortium. “We are thankful for the support of our customers and retailers, which allows each of our 47 member lotteries to generate funds for good causes within their jurisdiction. As the jackpot grows, we encourage our players to keep within their entertainment budget and enjoy this jackpot run right along with us.”
The only Mega Millions jackpots larger than Tuesday’s estimated $1.1 billion are the game’s record of $1.537 billion, won in South Carolina on October 23, 2018, and $1.337 billion won in Illinois last July 29.
While the jackpot keeps rolling, there were millions of other prizes won in the January 6 drawing: 4,411,404 winning tickets at all other prize levels, from $2 to $1 million. Five tickets matched the five white balls to win the game’s $1 million second-tier prize; two were sold in New York and one each in Florida, Maryland and New Jersey.
Across the country, 115 tickets matched four white balls plus the Mega Ball to win the third-tier prize. Fifteen of those tickets are worth $30,000 each, because they included the optional Megaplier (available in most states with an extra $1 purchase), which was 3X on Friday night. The other 100 third-tier winning tickets are worth $10,000 each.
There have been a total of more than 27.1 million winning tickets sold in the 24 drawings since the jackpot was last won on October 14. These include 52 worth $1 million or more, won in 20 different states from coast to coast: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.
Six Mega Millions jackpots were awarded in 2022, ranging from $20 million in Tennessee to that $1.337 billion in Illinois, and everything in between.
The most recent jackpot win was at $502 million, shared by winning tickets in California and Florida on October 14.