Mega Millions Jackpot Skyrockets to $977 Million, Inching Toward $1 Billion

The Mega Millions jackpot has reached an astounding $977 million for the highly anticipated drawing on Friday evening.

Lottery officials confirm that no ticket matched the winning combination of 24, 46, 49, 62, 66, and the Mega Ball 7 during Tuesday night’s draw (video below), fueling the jackpot’s climb to the billion-dollar milestone.

According to a press release, this jackpot ranks sixth-highest in the game’s nearly 22-year history, with only five previous jackpots exceeding the $1 billion threshold. The jackpot reached $1.1 Billion last year.

Since the last Mega Millions jackpot win on December 8, when two lucky tickets were sold in California, 29 consecutive drawings have yielded over 23.6 million winning tickets across various non-jackpot prize tiers. This impressive streak has resulted in 37 second-tier prizes of $1 million or more, claimed in 19 different jurisdictions spanning the nation, from Arizona to Virginia.

The March 19 drawing alone produced a remarkable 2,167,646 winning tickets. Four fortunate individuals matched the five white balls, winning the game’s second-tier prize, with tickets sold in California, Florida, Texas, and Virginia. Across the country, 41 tickets matched four white balls plus the Mega Ball, securing the third-tier prize. Eleven of these winners, who wisely opted for the optional Megaplier (available in most states for an additional $1), walked away with a staggering $20,000 each, thanks to the 2X multiplier in effect on Tuesday night. The remaining 30 third-tier winning tickets claimed the standard $10,000 prize.

Mega Millions stands as the only lottery game to have awarded five jackpots exceeding the $1 billion mark, with each prize claimed in different states: South Carolina in 2018, Michigan in 2021, Illinois in 2022, Maine in early 2023, and Florida last August, which currently holds the game’s record jackpot of $1.602 billion.

Tickets for the Mega Millions drawing are priced at $2 each and are available in 45 states, Washington, D.C, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In most jurisdictions, players can opt for the Megaplier option by adding an extra $1 to multiply their non-jackpot prizes. Half of the proceeds from each Mega Millions ticket sale remain in the state where the ticket was purchased, supporting designated good causes and retailer commissions.

Drawings are conducted in Atlanta at 11 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesdays and Fridays. The odds of winning any Mega Millions prize are 1 in 24, while the odds of winning the jackpot stand at 1 in 302,575,350.

Photo: © MargJohnsonVA – stock.adobe.com

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