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$650 million in lottery jackpots up for grabs this week

Aug 7, 2017, 1:10 pm

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Mega Millions / Powerball

Powerball, Mega Millions each worth more than $300 million

Includes video report

By Todd Northrop

The USA's two powerhouse multi-state lottery games have been steadily growing their jackpots over the past several weeks, and this week they offer a combined $650 million to lottery players who will take a chance to beat the odds.

Up first is Tuesday's Mega Millions drawing, featuring a whopping $346 million grand prize — the largest jackpot that game has seen in more than a year.  It has been more than three months since the Mega Millions jackpot was won, and it has been getting bigger in each of the 28 drawings that have occurred since then.

A player who matches all five numbers plus the Mega Ball number can also collect the prize as a $216.1 million lump-sum cash payout.

Of course, taxes will be withheld, and players can see what the prize will amount to after tax withholdings by visiting the Mega Millions Jackpot Analysis page at USA Mega.

So what should your fallback plan be if you don't win the Mega Millions?  Buy a ticket for Powerball the next day, since that game features a massive $307 million jackpot in the Wednesday evening drawing.

The Powerball jackpot has been growing over the course of the last 16 drawings spanning the past 2 months.  It started as a $40 million jackpot on June 14.

A Powerball winner could opt for the lump-sum cash value of $193.2 million.  USA Mega's Powerball Jackpot Analysis page shows the tax withholdings for each state.

The last Powerball jackpot win was on June 10, when one ticket from California matched all five numbers plus the Powerball for a $447.8 million prize.  The jackpot was claimed by Jeff Lindsay, who chose to receive minimal publicity. He bought 10 Powerball tickets on a whim after cashing in a winning scratch-off ticket.

It only takes $1 per ticket to play Mega Millions, but that price will increase to $2 per ticket in October.  Players can multiply prizes with the Megaplier option for an additional $1 per play.

Powerball tickets cost $2 each, with an additional $1 per play if the player wishes to add the Power Play multiplier option.

Both the Megaplier and Power Play will multiply any non-jackpot prizes the player wins by the random Megaplier or Power Play number drawn that evening.  Both features are available in all states offering the games except California, which bans the type of fixed prize payouts awarded by multipliers.

Mega Millions drawings are held every Tuesday and Friday evening at 11:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Pacific Time), and Powerball drawings are held Wednesday and Saturday evenings at 10:59 PM Eastern Time (7:59 PM Pacific Time).

The winning numbers for both games are published minutes after the drawing at USA Mega (, home of the USA's two mega jackpot games.

VIDEO: Watch the report

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