Mega Millions: Here’s where the most jackpot-winning tickets have been sold
(NEXSTAR) — With another record-setting Mega Millions jackpot brewing — officials estimate it at more than $640 million ahead of Friday’s drawing — you may be looking to try your luck at the grand prize. If you want to increase your chances, you may want to change where you buy your ticket.
Mega Millions began in 1996 under the name “Big Game,” according to the lottery game’s website. At the time, just six states participated: Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Virginia.
By 2002, the game was renamed to Mega Millions and grew to 10 participating states. It would grow to 45 states by 2010. Mega Millions is now played in all but five states, plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Ten years ago, Mega Millions set the world record for the largest prize in any jackpot game at $656 million. While that jackpot now ranks as the fourth-largest in Mega Millions history, the current jackpot of $640 million isn’t far off.
This marks just the sixth time the Mega Millions jackpot has surpassed $600 million.
With the exception of five states that don’t participate, 18 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have never sold a jackpot-winning Mega Millions ticket, according to game data dating back to 2002.
Here’s where a Mega Millions jackpot ticket has never been sold:
|District of Columbia||Oklahoma|
|Louisiana||U.S. Virgin Islands|
Of these jurisdictions, two have never seen a Powerball jackpot win either.
Records show there are also a handful of states that have only had one jackpot-winning ticket: Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Wisconsin.
More jackpot-winning Mega Millions tickets have been sold in New York than in any other state, with 39 since 2002. Two of those — a $106 million jackpot in 2015 and a $14 million jackpot in 2012 — were won by residents of New York and New Jersey.
California has seen the second-most Mega Millions jackpots at 34 (including a $502 jackpot split between tickets sold in San Jose and Fort Myers, Florida) followed by New Jersey at 25.
Here are the states where the most Mega Millions jackpots have been hit:
- New York: 39
- California: 34
- New Jersey: 25
- Ohio: 20
- Michigan: 18
Of these five states, three have also had the most Powerball jackpot wins.
Below is an interactive map showing how many Mega Millions jackpots each state has seen:
This year, winning tickets have already been sold in six states: California (twice), Florida, Illinois (a record-setting win), Tennessee, Minnesota, and New York. But that doesn’t mean these states couldn’t win again. In 2009, for example, six of the 18 jackpot tickets were sold in New York.
The next Mega Millions drawing will be held Friday at 11 p.m. ET. Your chances of winning the jackpot are 1 in 302,575,350, according to Mega Millions.
Mega Millions tickets are $2 and there are a total of nine ways to win a prize.
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