A measly $100 million? As Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots drop amid coronavirus, Marylanders have lost interest.
The digital sign still flashes “POWERBALL” and “MEGA MILLIONS” in splashy, gold and red lettering at the BP station on U.S. 40 in Catonsville, one of the Maryland Lottery’s top retailers.
But interest has slipped from mega to meager in the two national games, which once produced frenzied sales. Jackpots once topping $1 billion have tumbled during the coronavirus pandemic, and the public has become numb to what once seemed to be astonishingly large prizes.
Irving Redditt, 63, of Baltimore, bought Powerball and Mega Millions tickets recently at the gas station, which is decorated with colorful lottery advertisements, purple Baltimore Ravens paraphernalia and a sign reading “Live the life you’ve imagined.”
But the retiree seemed more interested in a variety of other lottery offerings and didn’t plan to watch the televised Powerball and Mega Millions drawings — each held twice a week at 11 p.m. — to find out whether he won.
“I’d be asleep that time of day anyway,” he said. “Surprise me.”
The jackpots for the drawings that week were $179 million for Powerball and $188 million for Mega Millions.
Faced with declining sales, the multistate games’ managers scaled back the jackpots in April as the first wave of the pandemic worsened and many states and cities asked residents to stay at home.
While the current jackpots are hardly puny, they pale in comparison to the $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot in 2016 and $1.5 billion Mega Millions top prize in 2018.
Those record-high hauls led many Marylanders to line up at convenience stores and gas stations trying to defy unfathomable odds by buying $2 tickets, sometimes in bulk. No Marylander ended up sharing in either of the gargantuan jackpots.
“That was the craziest time,” said Khawaja Jamal, manager of the BP station, which lures players by offering them special parking, a smoking deck and a lounge in which regulars chat like people at a neighborhood bar or barbershop.
But the excitement abated after the monster jackpots of several years ago, and Powerball and Mega Millions sales began to decline in Maryland and other states. The games — in which players pick or are randomly given numbers to try to match those selected in a drawing — are available in 45 states and Washington, D.C.
“Sales are just not accelerating like they used to, and the players just don’t get excited by — can you imagine? — only $100 million,” said Maryland Lottery director Gordon Medenica.
He said the pandemic may be disproportionately affecting those games because “they tend to be very social games. You get the office pools, you get people talking about it, you get the media talking about it. To the extent that people just haven’t had the opportunity to be together … that may be part of it.”
Lottery sales are important to the state. Revenue from lottery games and casino taxes combine to be Maryland’s largest source of revenue behind income, sales and corporate taxes. The state collected $1.1 billion from lottery games and casinos during the fiscal year that ended June 30.
Maryland’s other lottery games — including Pick 3, Pick 4, Racetrax and Keno — are faring well. Analysts say the games have benefited because the pandemic has shut down movie theaters, sporting events and — for a time — casinos that were popular outlets for discretionary spending.
Overall lottery sales are up 15.8% compared with the same period a year earlier, Medenica told the Lottery and Gaming Commission at its monthly meeting Nov. 19.Two factors — the coronavirus pandemic and a public numb to what once seemed to be astonishingly large prizes — have seen jackpots that once topped $1 billion tumble.
Maryland (MD) Mega Millions Numbers & Results
Check Maryland (MD) Mega Millions winning numbers and results, monitor MD lottery jackpots, and see the latest news on all your favorite MD lottery games with our mobile lottery app!
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Latest Maryland Mega Millions Results
Mega Millions | $625,000,000
Mega Millions | $520,000,000
Mega Millions | $432,000,000
Mega Millions | $401,000,000
Mega Millions | $376,000,000
Mega Millions | $352,000,000
Mega Millions | $330,000,000
Mega Millions | $310,000,000
Mega Millions | $291,000,000
Maryland Mega Millions Prize Amounts
|5 of 5 w/ Mega Ball||Jackpot|
|5 of 5||$1,000,000|
|4 of 5 w/ Mega Ball||$10,000|
|4 of 4||$500|
|3 of 5 w/ Mega Ball||$200|
|3 of 5||$10|
|2 of 5 w/ Mega Ball||$10|
|1 of 5 w/ Mega Ball||$4|
|0 of 5 w/ Mega Ball||$2|
Maryland Mega Millions Megaplier Prize Amounts
|Numbers Correct||Megaplier 2X||Megaplier 3X||Megaplier 4X||Megaplier 5X|
|5 of 5||$2,000,000||$3,000,000||$4,000,000||$5,000,000|
|4 of 5 w/ Megaplier||$20,000||$30,000||$40,000||$50,000|
|4 of 5||$1,000||$1,500||$2,000||$2,500|
|3 of 5 w/ Megaplier||$400||$600||$800||$1,000|
|3 of 5||$20||$30||$40||$50|
|2 of 5 w/ Megaplier||$20||$30||$40||$50|
|1 of 5 w/ Megaplier||$8||$12||$16||$20|
|0 of 5 w/ Megaplier||$4||$6||$8||$10|
Maryland Mega Millions FAQs
Can I buy a MD Mega Millions ticket online?
If you’re in Texas, California, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oregon, Washington or Pennsylvania you can purchase Mega Millions tickets through Lottery.com at play.lottery.com!
When is the Maryland Mega Millions?
Maryland Mega Millions drawings take place twice a week on Tuesday and Friday nights.
What time is the Maryland Mega Millions drawing?
What is the MD Mega Millions jackpot?
Mega Millions jackpots roll-over until there is a winner or multiple winners. You can find the latest Maryland Mega Millions jackpot amounts here on the Lottery.com Maryland Mega Millions Jackpots page.
Did anyone win the MD Mega Millions?
When Mega Millions resets to the minimum jackpot, it’s an indication that one or more players won in the most recent drawing.
What are the MD Mega Millions winning numbers?
View the latest Mega Millions winning numbers in the Lottery.com app or on the Lottery.com website following each drawing here on the Maryland Mega Millions Results page.
What are the odds of winning?
Higher than you think! The odds of winning a prize are 1 in 24.
Information on responsible gaming and problem gaming is available here. Or call 1-800-522-4700.Get the latest winning numbers (results) and jackpots for MARYLAND MEGA MILLIONS and all of your other favorite Maryland lottery games. ]]>