Current Mega Millions jackpot becomes one of the largest lottery prizes in US
(NEXSTAR) – Without a winner in Friday’s drawing, the current Mega Millions jackpot has grown to the fourth-largest in the lottery game’s history. It has also become one of the largest in U.S. history.
The current Mega Millions jackpot has been brewing since October, and now stands at an estimated $785 million. It now sits behind three other jackpots – all won within the last five years – that surpassed $1 billion.
That includes the $1.337 billion jackpot won in July 2022.
Though it is the fourth-largest Mega Millions jackpot, a winner in the next drawing could make it the fifth-largest lottery jackpot won in U.S. history.
A $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot won in November is the largest lottery jackpot ever won in the U.S. Another Powerball jackpot – a 2016 $1.586 billion prize split by three tickets – is the second-largest lottery prize in the U.S., followed by three Mega Millions jackpots.
All of the top five lottery jackpots in the U.S. have surpassed the $1 billion mark.
Here are the top 10 largest lottery jackpots in the U.S. based on data from Powerball and Mega Millions, as well as when and where they were won:
- $2.04 billion (Powerball): Nov. 7, 2022; California
- $1.586 billion (Powerball): Jan. 13, 2016; California, Florida, Tennessee
- $1.537 billion (Mega Millions): Oct. 23, 2018; South Carolina
- $1.337 billion (Mega Millions): July 29, 2022; Illinois
- $1.05 billion (Mega Millions): Jan. 22, 2021; Michigan
- $768.4 million (Powerball): Mar. 27, 2019; Wisconsin
- $758.7 million (Powerball): Aug. 23, 2012; Massachusetts
- $731.1 million (Powerball): Jan. 20, 2021; Maryland
- $699.8 million (Powerball): Oct. 4, 2021; California
- $687.8 million (Powerball): Oct. 27, 2018; Iowa, New York
It’s possible the current Mega Millions jackpot could grow to more than $800 million before Tuesday’s drawing. Before last Tuesday’s drawing, the Mega Millions jackpot was an estimated $565 million and grew to $640 million before Friday’s drawing. There are a couple of factors that will impact just how big the Mega Millions jackpot gets over the next two days.
History could also repeat itself this January – if the Mega Millions jackpot reaches $1 billion, it would be the second time in the game’s history that a top prize hits such a mark during the first month of the year.
What likely won’t happen, though, are record-setting wins for Powerball and Mega Millions in January, like we saw in 2021 when jackpots in both games were hit within days of each other. Currently, the Powerball jackpot sits at $265 million, a far cry from the current Mega Millions jackpot.
The next Mega Millions drawing is scheduled for 11 p.m. ET Tuesday. Mega Millions is played in 45 states and the District of Columbia. Tickets are $2 and there are a total of nine ways to win a prize.
Nexstar’s Michael Bartiromo contributed to this report.
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