Mar 15, 2014, 11:57 am
Massive jackpot is 7th-largest of all time
By Todd Northrop
For only the 7th time in the history of United States lotteries, a lottery jackpot has grown to $400 million or more.
After 20 drawings without a jackpot winner, the multi-state Mega Millions lottery game now boasts a swelling jackpot that is nearing a half-billion dollars and could instantly put someone among the wealthiest people on the planet.
After nobody won Friday night's grand prize, the Mega Millions jackpot grew to an estimated $400 million — the largest since the near-record $648 million Mega Millions jackpot drawn on Dec. 17, 2013, and the 7th-largest United States lottery jackpot of all time (see full list below). It is the 3rd-largest Mega Millions jackpot ever.
The lump-sum cash value of $224.8 million is also the 9th-largest on the all-time US lottery jackpot cash value list.
The current jackpot run-up started on January 7 as a $15 million grand prize — it has been over two months since Mega Millions has had a jackpot winner.
Lottery players wondering what all the cash will look like in their bank account after federal and state taxes are taken out can see an after-tax analysis of the current Mega Millions jackpot by visiting USA Mega's Jackpot Analysis page.
In Friday night's Mega Millions drawing, there was no jackpot winner, but 5 lucky players matched the first 5 numbers for a $1,000,000 prize: 1 from Arkansas, 1 from Florida, 2 from Ohio, and 1 from Virginia.
Three of the five second-prize winners purchased their ticket with the Megaplier option for an extra $1 per play and will have their prize tripled to $3 millon, because the Megaplier number drawn was 3. The three winning tickets purchased with the Megaplier option were sold in Arkansas, Florida, and Virginia.
The Megaplier option is not available in California, because the fixed nature of the prize increase offered with the Megaplier is not compatible with California's pari-mutuel payouts. By law, California awards all prizes on a pari-mutuel basis, meaning the prizes will change each drawing based on the number of tickets sold and the number of tickets that won at each prize level.
Also, a total of 97 tickets matched four of the first five numbers plus the Mega Ball to win a $5,000 prize. Of those tickets, 10 were purchased with the Megaplier option, increasing the prize to $15,000, and 8 were sold in California, where the prize awarded this drawing is $9,096.
The Mega Millions winning numbers for Friday, March 14, 2014, were 7, 20, 40, 54, and 69, with Mega Ball number 12. The Megaplier number was 3.
Following the Friday drawing, the Mega Millions annuity jackpot estimate was raised $47 million from its previous amount of $353 million. The cash value was raised by $30.8 million, from its previous amount of $194 million.
Mega Millions is currently offered for sale in 43 states, plus Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Drawings are Tuesdays and Fridays at 11:00 pm Eastern Time. Tickets cost $1 each.
A 44th Mega Millions state may be added later this year, as the state of Wyoming has approved a new state lottery with the intention of joining multi-state lottery games. (See Wyoming officially becomes 44th state with a lottery, Lottery Post, Mar. 14, 2013.)
The Mega Millions winning numbers are published at USA Mega (www.usamega.com) minutes after the drawing takes place.
Top 25 United States lottery jackpots of all time
Tuesday's Mega Millions jackpot currently stands as the 7th-largest lottery jackpot of all time in the United States. That position may rise before the drawing, as lotteries are typically conservative in their initial estimates, and brisk sales may push the jackpot estimate higher by draw time.
For those keeping score, the number of jackpots in the top 25, by lottery game, are:
The Big Game is the original name of Mega Millions, from the game's first drawing on Sep. 6, 1996 through May 14, 2002. The name was changed to Mega Millions starting with the May 17, 2002 drawing.
Top 25 cash value jackpots
Since many lottery winners collect their winnings in cash, the lump-sum payout is an important measure of what a winning ticket could be worth.
Looking at the cash value, the upcoming Mega Millions jackpot ranks as the 9th-largest cash value in U.S. history.
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