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Multi-state lottery games offer combined $800 million jackpot

Mar 15, 2018, 9:03 am

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Mega Millions / Powerball

By Todd Northrop

Lottery fever is spreading across the USA with two huge jackpots adding up to $800 million.

The ability to walk into a lottery retailer and purchase two separate opportunities to win nearly a half-billion dollars is unprecedented. This is only the second time in history that two US lottery games have combined to $800 million or more.

Powerball grew overnight to $455 million for Saturday's drawing. Meanwhile Friday's Mega Millions jackpot stands at $345 million — its highest amount in more than two months.

The winning numbers from Wednesday's Powerball drawing were 6, 12, 24, 41, and 68, with Powerball number 9. The Power Play was 3.

The Powerball jackpot has grown since Jan. 10, when it started as a $40 million jackpot, and has rolled 19 times. Powerball offers two jackpot payment options: the $455 million annuity prize paid out as one immediate payment followed by 29 annual graduated payments; or the cash option, which is approximately $269.4 million.

Mega Millions began growing Jan. 9 as a $40 million jackpot, and has rolled 19 times. This is the first jackpot run for Mega Millions that began at the new starting point of $40 million. Previously Mega Millions jackpot started at $15 million, until new rules were adopted on Oct. 31, 2017.

Mega Millions offers two jackpot payment options: the $345 million jackpot prize paid over 29 years in 30 graduated payments; or the cash option, which is approximately $205 million.

As a result of today's jackpot increase, Powerball is now the 11th-largest US lottery jackpot in history, and Mega Millions is the 26th-largest ever.

If nobody wins Mega Millions Friday and the jackpot rolls, the game will knock the final top-25 jackpot of its previous incarnation — The Big Game — out of the list. The top-25 US lottery annuity and cash value jackpots can be found below.

Mega Millions and Powerball tickets are $2 per play and can be purchased at lottery retailers in 44 states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. (Mega Millions is not offered in Puerto Rico.)

Players looking for a nearby lottery retailer — or that out-of-the-way retailer with a smaller line — are encouraged to use Lottery Places, an app for iOS, Android, and Windows that can locate the nearest lottery retailers in every jurisdiction that sells Powerball and Mega Millions. The helpful app can locate lottery retailers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Mexico, much of Canada, and the Caribbean.

Mega Millions players can multiply prizes with the Megaplier option for an additional $1 per play. In several (but not all) states, Mega Millions also offers a new optional $3 wager called Just the Jackpot that allows players to receive two entries for a chance to win the game's jackpot prize only.

Powerball players can multiply prizes with the Power Play option for an additional $1 per play.

Top 25 26 United States lottery jackpots of all time

The current Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots currently stand as the 11th- and 26th-largest lottery jackpots of all time in the United States.  Both positions 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.

  1. Powerball: $1.5864 billion, Jan. 13, 2016 - California, Florida, Tennessee
  2. Powerball: $758.7 million, Aug. 23, 2017 - Massachusetts
  3. Mega Millions: $656 million, Mar. 30, 2012 - Illinois, Kansas, Maryland
  4. Mega Millions: $636 million, Dec. 17, 2013 - California, Georgia
  5. Powerball: $590.5 million, May 18, 2013 - Florida
  6. Powerball: $587.5 million, Nov. 28, 2012 - Arizona, Missouri
  7. Powerball: $564.1 million, Feb. 11, 2015 - North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Texas
  8. Powerball: $559.7 million, Jan. 6, 2018 - New Hampshire
  9. Mega Millions: $536 million, Jul. 8, 2016 - Indiana
  10. Powerball: $487 million, Jul. 30, 2016 - New Hampshire
  11. Powerball: $455 million, Mar. 17, 2018 - Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  12. Mega Millions: $451 million, Jan. 5, 2018 - Florida
  13. Powerball: $448.4 million, Aug. 7, 2013 - Minnesota, New Jersey (2)
  14. Powerball: $447.8 million, Jun. 10, 2017 - California
  15. Powerball: $435.3 million, Feb. 22, 2017 - Indiana
  16. Powerball: $429.6 million, May 7, 2016 - New Jersey
  17. Powerball: $425.3 million, Feb. 19, 2014 - California
  18. Powerball: $420.9 million, Nov. 26, 2016 - Tennessee
  19. Mega Millions: $414 million, Mar. 18, 2014 - Florida, Maryland
  20. Powerball: $399.4 million, Sep. 18, 2013 - South Carolina
  21. Mega Millions: $393 million, Aug. 11, 2017 - Illinois
  22. Mega Millions: $390 million, Mar. 6, 2007 - Georgia, New Jersey
  23. Mega Millions: $380 million, Jan. 4, 2011 - Idaho, Washington
  24. Powerball: $365 million, Feb. 18, 2006 - Nebraska
  25. The Big Game: $363 million, May 9, 2000 - Illinois, Michigan
  26. Mega Millions: $345 million, Mar. 16, 2018 - Preliminary estimate, not won yet

The number of jackpots in the top 25, by lottery game, are:

  • Powerball: 16
  • Mega Millions: 8
  • The Big Game: 1

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 28 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.

The upcoming Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots rank as the 14th- and 28th-largest cash values in U.S. history.

  1. Powerball: $983.5 million cash, Jan. 13, 2016 ($1.5864 billion annuity) - California, Florida, Tennessee
  2. Powerball: $480.5 million cash, Aug. 23, 2017 ($758.7 million annuity) - Massachusetts
  3. Mega Millions: $471 million cash, Mar. 30, 2012 ($656 million annuity) - Illinois, Kansas, Maryland
  4. Powerball: $384.7 million cash, Nov. 28, 2012 ($587.5 million annuity) - Arizona, Missouri
  5. Powerball: $381.1 million cash, Feb. 11, 2015 ($564.1 million annuity) - North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Texas
  6. Mega Millions: $378 million cash, Jul. 8, 2016 ($536 million annuity) - Indiana
  7. Powerball: $370.9 million cash, May 18, 2013 ($590.5 million annuity) - Florida
  8. Powerball: $352 million cash, Jan. 6, 2018 ($559.7 million annuity) - New Hampshire
  9. Mega Millions: $347.6 million cash, Dec. 17, 2013 ($636 million annuity) - California, Georgia
  10. Powerball: $336.8 million cash, Jul. 30, 2016 ($487 million annuity) - New Hampshire
  11. Powerball: $284 million cash, May 7, 2016 ($429.6 million annuity) - New Jersey
  12. Mega Millions: $281.9 million cash, Jan. 5, 2018 ($451 million annuity) - Florida
  13. Powerball: $279.1 million cash, Jun. 10, 2017 ($447.8 million annuity) - California
  14. Powerball: $269.4 million cash, Mar. 17, 2018 ($455 million annuity) - Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  15. Powerball: $263.5 million cash, Feb. 22, 2017 ($435.3 million annuity) - Indiana
  16. Powerball: $258.2 million cash, Aug. 7, 2013 ($448.4 million annuity) - Minnesota, New Jersey (2)
  17. Powerball: $254.7 million cash, Nov. 26, 2016 ($420.9 million annuity) - Tennessee
  18. Mega Millions: $246.5 million cash, Aug. 11, 2017 ($393 million annuity) - Illinois
  19. Mega Millions: $240 million cash, Jan. 4, 2011 ($380 million annuity) - Idaho, Washington
  20. Mega Millions: $233.1 million cash, Mar. 6, 2007 ($390 million annuity) - Georgia, New Jersey
  21. Mega Millions: $230.9 million cash, Mar. 18, 2014 ($414 million annuity) - Florida, Maryland
  22. Powerball: $227.8 million cash, Feb. 19, 2014 ($425.3 million annuity) - California
  23. Powerball: $224.7 million cash, Aug. 15, 2012 ($337 million annuity) - Michigan
  24. Powerball: $223.3 million cash, Sep. 18, 2013 ($399.4 million annuity) - South Carolina
  25. Mega Millions: $214 million cash, Aug. 28, 2009 ($336 million annuity) - California, New York
  26. Powerball: $211 million cash, Mar. 23, 2013 ($338.3 million annuity) - New Jersey
  27. Powerball: $210 million cash, Feb. 11, 2012 ($336.4 million annuity) - Rhode Island
  28. Mega Millions: $205 million cash, Mar. 16, 2018 ($345 million annuity) - Preliminary estimate, not won yet

The number of jackpot cash values in the top 25, by lottery game, are:

  • Powerball: 16
  • Mega Millions: 9

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