$970 MILLION: Mega lottery jackpot set for Friday

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Mega MillionsMega Millions: $970 MILLION: Mega lottery jackpot set for FridayRating:

3rd largest lottery jackpot the world has ever seen

Cash value is three-quarters of a billion dollars

By Todd Northrop

The most commonly-heard phrase this week just might be, “Did you get Mega Millions tickets?”

That’s because nobody won the Mega Millions multi-state lottery drawing Tuesday night, sending the Friday jackpot to heights only seen once before in the game’s history.

By Friday, the game is likely to sport a jackpot of greater than $1 billion.

Friday’s Mega Millions jackpot is currently estimated at $970 million, with a lump-sum cash value of $716.3 million. And based on past multi-state lottery jackpots, that estimate may get a lot bigger by the time the drawing kicks off Friday night.

To get to this size, the jackpot has been growing since it started on Sept. 18 as a $20 million prize — now a record 36 consecutive drawings without a winner.

Friday’s $970 million Mega Millions jackpot is the 2nd-largest in the game’s history, and the 3rd-largest lottery jackpot in world history. The largest lottery jackpot ever awarded was on January 13, 2016, when three tickets from California, Florida, and Tennessee shared a $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot. Mega Millions had its largest-ever jackpot — valued at $1.537 billion — awarded to a single winning ticket claimed anonymously in South Carolina.

The lump-sum cash value of $716.3 million is also the 3rd-largest on the all-time lottery jackpot cash value rankings (see full list below).

The USA’s other big multi-state game, Powerball, is simultaneously achieving historic jackpot levels with its $730 million jackpot. Together, Powerball and Mega Millions offer an astonishing $1.7 billion in combined jackpots.

Lottery players dreaming what all the cash will look like in their bank account after federal and state taxes are taken out can see an after-tax analysis of the current Mega Millions jackpot by visiting USA Mega’s Mega Millions Jackpot Analysis page. The Jackpot Analysis page has recently been improved to also include the additional taxes that will be due after the initial withholdings, and will even allow players to see the taxes due under different filing statuses.

The rush of ticket sales over the next few days likely will propel the jackpot to an even higher amount before the drawing takes place Friday. Lottery Post and USA Mega will update the jackpot tallies displayed if such an increase occurs.

The quickest way to find the winning numbers after the drawing Friday will be by visiting USA Mega (www.usamega.com) at 11:00 pm Eastern Time (8:00 pm Pacific), when the winning numbers will be published live as they are drawn.

Players looking for the nearest official lottery retailer — or maybe just a different store without such a long line — are urged to use the free Lottery Places app available for iOS, Android, and Windows. The app can find lottery stores in every Mega Millions state and can search across state lines — something even official state lotteries can’t do.

Some states offer direct online sales too. Michigan residents can bypass the store completely and buy Mega Millions tickets and Powerball tickets online. Texas residents can buy Mega Millions tickets and Powerball tickets online too. Oregon residents have options to buy Mega Millions tickets and Powerball tickets online as well. Note that some of these links will only work properly for residents of the states mentioned.

Players outside the USA can use a reputable butler service, which provides scanned copies of the purchased lottery tickets securely held on behalf of the customer. In the past, the lottery ticket service was used by people out side the USA to win big jackpots in Oregon and Florida.

In Tuesday night’s Mega Millions drawing, there was no jackpot winner, but 11 lucky players matched the first 5 numbers for a $1,000,000 prize: 1 from California, 3 from Florida, 1 from Illinois, 1 from Kansas, 1 from Mississippi, 2 from New Jersey, 1 from Pennsylvania, and 1 from Washington.

The California second-prize winner will be awarded $1,401,723 instead of the fixed $1 million prize awarded in the other states. By law, California awards all lottery prizes on a pari-mutuel basis, meaning the prizes will change each drawing based on the number of tickets sold within California and the number of tickets that won at each prize level in the state. In this drawing the pari-mutuel prize calculation meant a 40% larger prize than what the other states award, but sometimes that can mean a smaller prize too.

Out of all the second-prize tickets, only two from Florida were purchased with the Megaplier option for an extra $1 per play, multiplying their prize to $2 million because the Megaplier number drawn was 2.

The Megaplier option is not available in California, because the fixed nature of the prize increase offered with the Megaplier is not compatible with California’s pari-mutuel payouts.

Also, a total of 139 tickets matched four of the first five numbers plus the Mega Ball to win a $10,000 prize. Of those tickets, 15 were purchased with the Megaplier option, increasing the prize to $20,000, and 20 were sold in California, where the prize awarded this drawing is $9,710.

The Mega Millions winning numbers for Tuesday, January 19, 2021, were 10, 19, 26, 28, and 50, with Mega Ball number 16. The Megaplier number was 2.

Following the Tuesday drawing, the Mega Millions annuity jackpot estimate was raised $105 million from its previous amount of $865 million. The cash value was raised by $77.5 million from its previous amount of $638.8 million.

Mega Millions is currently offered for sale in 45 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

Friday’s Mega Millions jackpot currently stands as the 3rd-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 (19 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – California, Florida, Tennessee
  2. Mega Millions: $1.537 billion, Oct. 23, 2018 (25 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – South Carolina
  3. Mega Millions: $970 million, Jan. 22, 2021 (36 rollovers, starting at $20 million) – Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  4. Powerball: $768.4 million, Mar. 27, 2019 (25 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – Wisconsin
  5. Powerball: $758.7 million, Aug. 23, 2017 (20 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – Massachusetts
  6. Powerball: $730 million, Jan. 20, 2021 (35 rollovers, starting at $20 million) – Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  7. Powerball: $687.8 million, Oct. 27, 2018 (21 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – Iowa, New York
  8. Mega Millions: $656 million, Mar. 30, 2012 (18 rollovers, starting at $12 million) – Illinois, Kansas, Maryland
  9. Mega Millions: $636 million, Dec. 17, 2013 (21 rollovers, starting at $12 million) – California, Georgia
  10. Powerball: $590.5 million, May 18, 2013 (13 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – Florida
  11. Powerball: $587.5 million, Nov. 28, 2012 (15 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – Arizona, Missouri
  12. Powerball: $564.1 million, Feb. 11, 2015 (20 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Texas
  13. Powerball: $559.7 million, Jan. 6, 2018 (20 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – New Hampshire
  14. Mega Millions: $543 million, Jul. 24, 2018 (22 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – California
  15. Mega Millions: $536 million, Jul. 8, 2016 (34 rollovers, starting at $15 million) – Indiana
  16. Mega Millions: $533 million, Mar. 30, 2018 (23 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – New Jersey
  17. Mega Millions: $522 million, Jun. 7, 2019 (24 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – California
  18. Powerball: $487 million, Jul. 30, 2016 (23 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – New Hampshire
  19. Powerball: $456.7 million, Mar. 17, 2018 (19 rollovers, starting at $15 million) – Pennsylvania
  20. Mega Millions: $451 million, Jan. 5, 2018 (23 rollovers, starting at $15 million) – Florida
  21. Powerball: $448.4 million, Aug. 7, 2013 (12 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – Minnesota, New Jersey (2)
  22. Powerball: $447.8 million, Jun. 10, 2017 (19 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – California
  23. Powerball: $435.3 million, Feb. 22, 2017 (18 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – Indiana
  24. Powerball: $429.6 million, May 7, 2016 (18 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – New Jersey
  25. Powerball: $425.3 million, Feb. 19, 2014 (15 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – California

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

  • Powerball: 16
  • Mega Millions: 9

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 3rd-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: $877.8 million cash, Oct. 23, 2018 ($1.537 billion annuity) – South Carolina
  3. Mega Millions: $716.3 million cash, Jan. 22, 2021 ($970 million annuity) – Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  4. Powerball: $546 million cash, Jan. 20, 2021 ($730 million annuity) – Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  5. Powerball: $480.5 million cash, Aug. 23, 2017 ($758.7 million annuity) – Massachusetts
  6. Powerball: $476.9 million cash, Mar. 27, 2019 ($768.4 million annuity) – Wisconsin
  7. Mega Millions: $471 million cash, Mar. 30, 2012 ($656 million annuity) – Illinois, Kansas, Maryland
  8. Powerball: $396.2 million cash, Oct. 27, 2018 ($687.8 million annuity) – Iowa, New York
  9. Powerball: $384.7 million cash, Nov. 28, 2012 ($587.5 million annuity) – Arizona, Missouri
  10. Powerball: $381.1 million cash, Feb. 11, 2015 ($564.1 million annuity) – North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Texas
  11. Mega Millions: $378 million cash, Jul. 8, 2016 ($536 million annuity) – Indiana
  12. Powerball: $370.9 million cash, May 18, 2013 ($590.5 million annuity) – Florida
  13. Powerball: $352 million cash, Jan. 6, 2018 ($559.7 million annuity) – New Hampshire
  14. Mega Millions: $347.6 million cash, Dec. 17, 2013 ($636 million annuity) – California, Georgia
  15. Mega Millions: $340 million cash, Jun. 7, 2019 ($522 million annuity) – California
  16. Powerball: $336.8 million cash, Jul. 30, 2016 ($487 million annuity) – New Hampshire
  17. Mega Millions: $324 million cash, Mar. 30, 2018 ($533 million annuity) – New Jersey
  18. Mega Millions: $320.5 million cash, Jul. 24, 2018 ($543 million annuity) – California
  19. Mega Millions: $319.9 million cash, Jun. 9, 2020 ($414 million annuity) – Arizona
  20. Powerball: $284 million cash, May 7, 2016 ($429.6 million annuity) – New Jersey
  21. Mega Millions: $281.9 million cash, Jan. 5, 2018 ($451 million annuity) – Florida
  22. Powerball: $279.1 million cash, Jun. 10, 2017 ($447.8 million annuity) – California
  23. Powerball: $276.5 million cash, Jan. 29, 2020 ($396.9 million annuity) – Florida
  24. Powerball: $273.9 million cash, Mar. 17, 2018 ($456.7 million annuity) – Pennsylvania
  25. Powerball: $263.5 million cash, Feb. 22, 2017 ($435.3 million annuity) – Indiana

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

  • Powerball: 15
  • Mega Millions: 10

Lottery Post Staff

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Simpsonville
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January 22, 2015
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Thanks for posting this Todd. Been chomping on the bit waiting for the standing list. Great job!

hearsetrax's avatar - alien on_computer.jpg

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May 21, 2007
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Thanks for posting this Todd. Been chomping on the bit waiting for the standing list. Great job!

sounds like puppy needs a new slipper to gnaw on jejeje

I’m rather surprised it rolled last night, but onward and up ward

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Beautiful Florida
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July 18, 2004
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Oh Boy, Here We Go !!

“Slander becomes the tool of the loser when the debate is lost.” – Socrates.

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Simpsonville
United States
Member #163184
January 22, 2015
2390 Posts
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sounds like puppy needs a new slipper to gnaw on jejeje

I’m rather surprised it rolled last night, but onward and up ward

Thanks for the laugh, first one being djt leaving and Village People’s YMCA playing as they were boarding AF1…how that song slipped through the cracks is beyond me. LMAO!!

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