No more puny prizes: Mega Millions, Powerball jackpots soar
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — After a long stretch of relatively paltry prizes, U.S. lottery players now have a choice of games that offer combined jackpots of more than $1 billion.
The jackpot for Mega Millions’ Tuesday night drawing has climbed to $615 million, and the top prize in the Powerball game reached $550 million ahead of Wednesday’s drawing.
It has been nearly two years since the two national lottery games offered such giant prizes and only the second time both jackpots have topped $500 million.
The projected Mega Millions grand prize is the eighth largest in U.S. history, and the Powerball jackpot is the 12th biggest. Both still pale in comparison to the largest prize, a $1.58 billion Powerball jackpot won by three players in 2016.
Lottery prizes have been growing more slowly since last spring, when officials reduced guaranteed minimums and stopped promising specific increases because the coronavirus caused sales to slow.
Carole Gentry, a spokeswoman for Maryland Lottery and Gaming, said Monday that the prizes are giant now mainly because it’s been months since anyone won either jackpot. But Gentry also speculated that more people were buying tickets because “it’s something fun to focus on in the new year,” causing prizes to rise more quickly.
As fun as it can be to play the games, people should realize their chance of winning the big prizes are incredibly small. The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are one in 292.2 million, and the chances are even worse for Mega Millions at one in 302.5 million.
The jackpots promoted by lotteries also refer to winners who take an annuity option, in which prizes are paid out over 30 years. Nearly all winners actually opt for the cash option, which for Mega Millions would now be an estimated $451.8 million and for Powerball is $411.4 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.
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No more puny prizes: Mega Millions, Powerball jackpots soar DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — After a long stretch of relatively paltry prizes, U.S. lottery players now have a choice of games that offer
Feeling Lucky? Powerball And Mega Millions Jackpots Are Jumping
MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Both the Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots are jumping again.
With no ticket matching all six Powerball numbers drawn on Saturday, the top prize is now $410 million for the next drawing on Wednesday night.
The winner can choose to get their jackpot in annual installments or take a lump-sum payment of $316.4 million before taxes.
The Mega Millions’ jackpot is $432 million for Tuesday night’s drawing.
If won at that level, it would be the tenth largest prize in Mega Millions history, and the largest since June 2019.
The winner can also get their jackpot in annual installments or take a lump-sum payment of $329.7 million before taxes.
Both the Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots are jumping again.