$1B Mega Millions Jackpot - Fast facts, winners, odds
|What is $1B Mega Millions Jackpot? Photo:|
The jackpot for the Mega Millions lottery game has grown to $1 billion ahead of Friday night’s drawing after more than four months without a winner thanks to bad luck, poor odds and reduced play partially blamed on the coronavirus pandemic.
$1B Mega Millions jackpot fast facts
Friday’s drawing marks just the third time ever that a lottery jackpot has reached the $1 billion mark, Fox Business cites.
Two other jackpot prizes exceed $1.5 billion, including one Powerball jackpot of $1.586 billion that was won in January 2016 (three winners) and the current Mega Millions record of $1.537 billion, which was won on a single ticket in October 2018.
The massive jackpot prize has been building since Sept. 15, 2020, the last time a winner was drawn. That comprises 37 drawings and marks the longest jackpot run ever for the game.
Odds of winning
The overall odds of winning a prize are 1 in 24 and the odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 302,575,350.
When to play
Friday's Mega Millions drawing was held at 11 p.m. ET.
Michigan ticket wins $1B Mega Millions prize
A ticket bought in Michigan has won an estimated $1 billion, the second-largest jackpot in Mega Millions lottery history and the third-largest in U.S. history, lottery officials said early Saturday, according to The Detroit News.
The winning numbers in the Mega Millions drawing were: 4, 26, 42, 50, 60 and a Mega Ball of 24.
The winning ticket was purchased at Kroger in Novi, located at 47650 Grand River Ave., the Michigan lottery reported early Saturday.
The Mega Millions top prize has been growing since Sept. 15, when a winning ticket was sold in Wisconsin. Michigan's last winning ticket was a shared jackpot won in 2017.
Friday night’s drawing comes two days after a ticket sold in Maryland matched all six numbers drawn and won a $731.1 million Powerball jackpot.
The jackpot figures refer to amounts if a winner opts for an annuity, paid in 30 annual installments. Most winners choose a cash prize, which for Mega Millions would be $739.6 million.
The odds of winning a Mega Millions jackpot are incredibly steep at one in 302.5 million.
Until Friday night's big win, the largest Lottery prize ever won by a Michigan player was a $337 million Powerball jackpot. Donald Lawson, of Lapeer, won that jackpot on Aug. 15, 2012.
The largest Mega Millions prize ever won in the state was won on April 22, 2005. A Port Huron couple, Ralph and Mary Stebbins, won $208 million playing Mega Millions.
The last Michigan player to win a Mega Millions jackpot was Kevin Blake, of Waterford Township. Blake won half of the game's $42 million jackpot in October 2017. The other winning ticket was purchased in Rhode Island.
Mega Millions is played in 45 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The top Mega Millions jackpots to date: Amount Date Winning Tickets
$1.537 billion 10/23/2018 1-SC
$970 million (est) 1/22/2021 ?
$656 million 3/30/2012 3-IL, KS, MD
$648 million 12/17/2013 2-CA, GA
$543 million 7/24/2018 1-CA
$536 million 7/8/2016 1-IN
$533 million 3/30/2018 1-NJ
$522 million 6/7/2019 1-CA
$451 million 1/5/2018 1-FL
$437 million 1/1/2019 1-NY
$1B Mega Millions prize a result of long odds, slow sales
|$1B Mega Millions prize a result of long odds, slow sales. Photo: ABC News|
It’s only the third time a lottery jackpot has grown so large, but much has changed since the last time such a big prize was up for grabs in 2018. The odds of winning a jackpot remain the same — incredibly small — but for a variety of reasons fewer people are playing Mega Millions or Powerball, the two lottery games offered in most of the country, says AP News.
And even as the huge Mega Millions prize and a $731.1 million Powerball jackpot won Wednesday by a single ticket sold in Maryland have juiced sales for the games, Maryland lottery director Gordon Medenica noted: “We’re not out of the woods yet.”
Medenica acknowledged sales were dramatically lower before the pandemic, and they tanked even further in the spring and summer.
After a peak in October 2018, Medenica said sales of the big lottery games dropped about 50%, prompting talk among lottery officials about jackpot fatigue. Sales of Mega Millions and Powerball continued to decline after the virus hit along with other lottery games, but while scratch tickets and other instant games rebounded strongly later in the year, national game sales remained moribund.
In response to falling sales, officials updated the national games to reduce starting jackpots from $40 million to $20 million and changed rules about guaranteed minimum increases between drawings. The moves made fiscal sense but they caused jackpots to grow more slowly, further tamping down sales, as demonstrated by the record 37 draws without a winner it took to reach the current Mega Millions jackpot that’s still far less than the all-time highs.
“That’s why it takes so many rolls to get up to a high jackpot level,” Medenica said.
What hasn’t changed are the odds.
Ever since Mega Millions rebranded in 2010, there have been some incredible jackpots won by players from across the U.S. Below are the top 7 Mega Millions winners of all time.
|Amount||Cash or Annuity?||Date||Winner Details|
|$1.537 billion||Took the cash option of $877.7 million||October 23rd 2018||After 25 consecutive rollovers, this prize was won by one player from South Carolina, making it both the biggest Mega Millions jackpot ever offered and the biggest lottery jackpot ever won by a single ticket holder anywhere in the world. The player did not come forward until March 2019 and opted to stay anonymous.|
|$656 million||The Illinois and Maryland winners chose annuity payments totalling $218.6 million, the Kansas winner took a $157 million cash lump sum.||March 30th 2012||Three winning tickets shared a top prize worth a whopping $656 million on March 30th 2012. The prize was split between Merle and Patricia Butler of Red Bud, Illinois, "the Three Amigos" – a group of three education workers in Maryland – and an anonymous ticket holder from Kansas.|
|$648 million||Took the cash option of $347.6 million||December 17th 2013||Two winners, Georgia grandmother Ira Curry and California delivery driver Steve Tran, shared this impressive $648 million jackpot prize.|
|$543 million||Not publicized||July 24th 2018||A new record was set for the largest jackpot claimed by a single ticket when a pool of 11 office workers from Santa Clara County in California decided ‘on the spur of the moment’ to spend $2 each on tickets. The lucky winners later insisted they had no plans to give up work just yet.|
|$536 million||Took the cash option of $378.3 million||July 8th 2016||A family from Indiana claimed $536 million on July 8th 2016. They chose to remain anonymous, in accordance with Indiana laws, and received their prize under the name Warren D LLC. The jackpot was the largest claimed on a single ticket at the time.|
|$533 million||Took the cash option of $324.6 million||March 30th 2018||Richard Wahl from Vernon became the biggest winner in New Jersey lottery history when he grabbed this sensational jackpot. He said he was part of a ‘humble family’ and wanted to use some of the money for charity work and to rebuild a 1964 Corvette.|
|$451 million||Took the cash option of $281.2 million||January 5th 2018||20-year old Shane Missler from Florida became the second biggest single winner of all time when one of the five QuickPicks he purchased for January 5th 2018 matched all six winning numbers.|
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