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$1 BILLION MEGA MILLIONS LOTTERY DRAWING TONIGHT

Oct 19, 2018, 12:02 pm

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Mega Millions

Mega Millions jackpot could crown first lottery billionaire

$1 billion jackpot outgrows most billboards

By Todd Northrop

For the third time in three days, lottery officials have been forced to raise the multi-state Mega Millions lottery jackpot due to a torrent of lottery ticket sales for the $1 BILLION jackpot drawing tonight.

If one ticket wins that prize, it would mark the first time in world history that someone became a billionaire lottery winner. One of the wealthiest people on the planet from a $2 lottery ticket!

Mega Millions offers two jackpot payment options: the $1 billion jackpot prize paid over 29 years in 30 graduated payments; or the cash option, which is now estimated at $565.6 million.

And that may not be as big as it gets. We typically learn the final Mega Millions jackpot tally the day after the drawing.

Want to see how much take-home money the big winner would get after taxes are initially withheld? Check out USA Mega's Mega Millions Jackpot Analysis page, a state-by-state analysis that shows both the annuity and cash payouts after federal and state taxes are withheld, as well as the year-by-year annuity payout schedule would be for your state.

"This is truly uncharted territory, and it's exciting to see people across the country buying their tickets and joining in the fun," said Gordon Medenica, Mega Millions Lead Director and the Director of Maryland Lottery and Gaming. "Hitting the $1 billion mark for the first time is historic, and we can't wait to meet the winner s who will share in that history."

Anyone looking to play Mega Millions in tonight's drawing and has not yet purchased their tickets should not hesitate to get to the store right away. Some lottery retailers are reporting pandemonium in the rush for Mega Millions lottery tickets.

The Massachusetts Lottery is reporting that they are selling 5,000 Mega Millions tickets per minute.

If you're not sure where to buy your tickets, head right over to the Lottery Places website to download the free app on your iOS or Android phone or Windows computer. Lottery Places is the only app on the market that will locate lottery retailers in every state and jurisdiction throughout the United States.

Michigan lottery players can bypass the store completely and buy their Mega Millions lottery tickets online.  Players outside the USA can try their luck with a reputable butler service, but time is quickly running out to get on board.

Friday's jackpot started at $40 million on July 27, and is the result of 24 drawings with no jackpot winner.

When nobody won the jackpot on Tuesday night, the initial estimate for Friday's drawing was established at $868 million, the game's all-time high. Less than 12 hours later, that estimate was raised to $900 million. Less than 24 hours after that, lottery officials again raised the official estimate to $970 million. And now, 24 hours later, they raised it once again to $1 billion.

Due to the overwhelming demand to see the winning numbers tonight after the drawing, players are advised to first check USA Mega (www.usamega.com) because that website is more likely than most to be up and running. The crush of players checking their numbers all at once will completely disable most other websites.

Whether you play Mega Millions alone or with a group, don't be that one person who didn't win because they didn't play.

Mega Millions jackpots start at $40 million and roll until the jackpot is won. Players win the jackpot by matching five numbers from a field of 70 numbers and one Mega Millions number from a field of 25 numbers. Drawings are conducted each Tuesday and Friday at 11:00 pm Eastern Time (8:00 Pacific Time).

Combined with Saturday night's $430 million Powerball jackpot (now raised to $470 million!), players have around $1.5 billion in lottery jackpots to play for this week. So if you don't win tonight, at least you get another shot at glory tomorrow night.

All information about game rules, past drawings, statistics, news, and more can be found at USA Mega (www.usamega.com).  The USA Mega Web site provides lottery players in-depth information about the United States' two biggest multi-state lottery games, Mega Millions and Powerball.

Mega Millions is currently offered for sale in 44 states, plus Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Drawings are Tuesdays and Fridays at 11:00 pm Eastern Time. Tickets cost $2 each.

Top 25 United States lottery jackpots of all time

Want to be a billionaire? Friday's Mega Millions jackpot currently stands as the 2nd-largest lottery jackpot in world history.  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.

  1. Powerball: $1.5864 billion, Jan. 13, 2016 - California, Florida, Tennessee
  2. Mega Millions: $1 billion, Oct. 19, 2018 - Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  3. Powerball: $758.7 million, Aug. 23, 2017 - Massachusetts
  4. Mega Millions: $656 million, Mar. 30, 2012 - Illinois, Kansas, Maryland
  5. Mega Millions: $636 million, Dec. 17, 2013 - California, Georgia
  6. Powerball: $590.5 million, May 18, 2013 - Florida
  7. Powerball: $587.5 million, Nov. 28, 2012 - Arizona, Missouri
  8. Powerball: $564.1 million, Feb. 11, 2015 - North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Texas
  9. Powerball: $559.7 million, Jan. 6, 2018 - New Hampshire
  10. Mega Millions: $543 million, Jul. 24, 2018 - California
  11. Mega Millions: $536 million, Jul. 8, 2016 - Indiana
  12. Mega Millions: $533 million, Mar. 30, 2018 - New Jersey
  13. Powerball: $487 million, Jul. 30, 2016 - New Hampshire
  14. Powerball: $470 million, Oct. 20, 2018 - Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  15. Powerball: $456.7 million, Mar. 17, 2018 - Pennsylvania
  16. Mega Millions: $451 million, Jan. 5, 2018 - Florida
  17. Powerball: $448.4 million, Aug. 7, 2013 - Minnesota, New Jersey (2)
  18. Powerball: $447.8 million, Jun. 10, 2017 - California
  19. Powerball: $435.3 million, Feb. 22, 2017 - Indiana
  20. Powerball: $429.6 million, May 7, 2016 - New Jersey
  21. Powerball: $425.3 million, Feb. 19, 2014 - California
  22. Powerball: $420.9 million, Nov. 26, 2016 - Tennessee
  23. Mega Millions: $414 million, Mar. 18, 2014 - Florida, Maryland
  24. Powerball: $399.4 million, Sep. 18, 2013 - South Carolina
  25. Mega Millions: $393 million, Aug. 11, 2017 - Illinois

For those keeping score, the number of jackpots in the top 25, by lottery game, are:

  • Powerball: 15
  • Mega Millions: 10

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 2nd-largest cash value in world history.

  1. Powerball: $983.5 million cash, Jan. 13, 2016 ($1.5864 billion annuity) - California, Florida, Tennessee
  2. Mega Millions: $565.6 million cash, Oct. 19, 2018 ($1 billion annuity) - Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  3. Powerball: $480.5 million cash, Aug. 23, 2017 ($758.7 million annuity) - Massachusetts
  4. Mega Millions: $471 million cash, Mar. 30, 2012 ($656 million annuity) - Illinois, Kansas, Maryland
  5. Powerball: $384.7 million cash, Nov. 28, 2012 ($587.5 million annuity) - Arizona, Missouri
  6. Powerball: $381.1 million cash, Feb. 11, 2015 ($564.1 million annuity) - North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Texas
  7. Mega Millions: $378 million cash, Jul. 8, 2016 ($536 million annuity) - Indiana
  8. Powerball: $370.9 million cash, May 18, 2013 ($590.5 million annuity) - Florida
  9. Powerball: $352 million cash, Jan. 6, 2018 ($559.7 million annuity) - New Hampshire
  10. Mega Millions: $347.6 million cash, Dec. 17, 2013 ($636 million annuity) - California, Georgia
  11. Powerball: $336.8 million cash, Jul. 30, 2016 ($487 million annuity) - New Hampshire
  12. Mega Millions: $324 million cash, Mar. 30, 2018 ($533 million annuity) - New Jersey
  13. Mega Millions: $320.5 million cash, Jul. 24, 2018 ($543 million annuity) - California
  14. Powerball: $284 million cash, May 7, 2016 ($429.6 million annuity) - New Jersey
  15. Mega Millions: $281.9 million cash, Jan. 5, 2018 ($451 million annuity) - Florida
  16. Powerball: $279.1 million cash, Jun. 10, 2017 ($447.8 million annuity) - California
  17. Powerball: $273.9 million cash, Mar. 17, 2018 ($456.7 million annuity) - Pennsylvania
  18. Powerball: $268.6 million cash, Oct. 20, 2018 ($430 million annuity) - Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  19. Powerball: $263.5 million cash, Feb. 22, 2017 ($435.3 million annuity) - Indiana
  20. Powerball: $258.2 million cash, Aug. 7, 2013 ($448.4 million annuity) - Minnesota, New Jersey (2)
  21. Powerball: $254.7 million cash, Nov. 26, 2016 ($420.9 million annuity) - Tennessee
  22. Mega Millions: $246.5 million cash, Aug. 11, 2017 ($393 million annuity) - Illinois
  23. Mega Millions: $240 million cash, Jan. 4, 2011 ($380 million annuity) - Idaho, Washington
  24. Mega Millions: $233.1 million cash, Mar. 6, 2007 ($390 million annuity) - Georgia, New Jersey
  25. Mega Millions: $230.9 million cash, Mar. 18, 2014 ($414 million annuity) - Florida, Maryland

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

  • Powerball: 14
  • Mega Millions: 11

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