Mar 13, 2011, 4:02 pm
By Todd Northrop
Will an incredibly lucky lottery player win a life-changing windfall this week, or will the multi-state Mega Millions lottery game enter another round of $200+ million jackpots?
We'll find out Tuesday night, when the $172 million Mega Millions drawing takes place.
Tuesday's Mega Millions jackpot is the accumulation of 11 consecutive drawings without a top prize winner. The current jackpot run-up started on Feb. 4 as a $12 million grand prize.
The lump-sum cash value stands at a staggering $108.9 million.
Players should note that jackpot amounts are conservative estimates provided by the lotteries, and are often somewhat higher by the time the drawing occurs. Occasionally the official jackpot estimate is raised even before the drawing, due to larger-than-expected sales.
In Friday night's Mega Millions drawing, there was no jackpot winner, but 11 lucky players matched the first 5 numbers for a $250,000 prize: 4 from California, 1 from Kansas, 1 from Michigan, 1 from New Jersey, 3 from New York, and 1 from Oregon.
The four California winners will each be awarded prizes of $113,947, because California awards all prizes in a pari-mutuel formula, which calculates the prize amount based on the number of tickets sold and the number of winners in each prize category. Because a larger-than-normal four tickets won second prize, the payout is smaller than the typical $250,000 for the winners.
Following the Friday drawing, the Mega Millions annuity jackpot estimate was raised $21 million from its previous amount of $151 million. The cash value was raised by $14.6 million, from its previous amount of $94.3 million.
The next Mega Millions drawing will take place Tuesday evening at 11:00 pm Eastern Time.
Mega Millions is currently offered for sale in 41 states, plus Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
For a complete set of game descriptions, results, history, and all questions regarding Mega Millions, lottery players are encouraged to visit USA Mega (www.usamega.com), a Web site that caters to the Unites States's two multi-state lottery games, Powerball and Mega Millions.
The Tuesday night Mega Millions winning numbers will be published at USA Mega minutes after the drawing takes place.
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