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Mega Millions Jackpot Reaches $1 Billion, Third-Largest Lotto Game Ever

Newsweek logo Newsweek 1/22/2021 Scott McDonald
text, letter: The Mega Millions jackpot has moved up to $1 billion, just in time for the Friday 01/22/21 drawing. It’s the second-largest jackpot in the game’s history, and only the third time an American lotto game has reached $1 billion. © Photo by MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images The Mega Millions jackpot has moved up to $1 billion, just in time for the Friday 01/22/21 drawing. It’s the second-largest jackpot in the game’s history, and only the third time an American lotto game has reached $1 billion.

The Mega Millions jackpot has moved up to $1 billion, just in time for the Friday 01/22/21 drawing, which will be held at 11 p.m. ET tonight. It's the second-largest jackpot in the game's history, and only the third time an American lotto game has reached $1 billion.

Mega Millions has rolled over for 37 drawings since September 2015, which is the longest run in the game's history.

The largest jackpot in history was the world-record Powerball prize of $1.586 billion on January 13, 2016. That Powerball prize was split between three different winners from California, Florida and Texas. The largest Mega Millions prize was $1.537 billion for the October 23, 2018 drawing. A single ticket in South Carolina won that jackpot, which was the world's largest game won by a single ticket.

Friday night's 01/22/21 Mega Million jackpot is worth $1 billion, with a cash-value option of $739.6 million. The exact dollar amount could be higher than an even $1 billion as final lottery sales won't be tallied until later tonight.

The jackpot earlier this week had already risen to $865 million, and there was no grand prize winner from the 01/19/21 drawing on Tuesday.

The Mega Millions numbers on Tuesday were: 10-19-26-28-50 with a Mega Ball of 16. The Megaplier was 2x.

There were 11 people who hit the first five numbers, and just missing out on the gold Mega Ball, for the game's second prize. Nine of those second-prize winners have game tickets worth $1 million. They were sold in California, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Mississippi, New Jersey (2), Pennsylvania and Washington. The other two tickets, both sold in Florida, are worth $2 million since they purchased the Megaplier for the extra $1.

There were 139 tickets sold nationwide on Tuesday that matched four of the five white balls and the Mega Ball for the $10,000 third prize. Fifteen of those purchased the Megaplier for an extra $1, which made their third-prize winnings worth $20,000.

Now, the national jackpot has risen to $1 billion—the second-largest jackpot in the game's history.

The last grand prize jackpot winner was from a ticket sold in Wisconsin on 09/15/20 for a jackpot worth $119 million. It was only the fifth, and final, Mega Millions jackpot won in the 2020 calendar year.

Here are the five Mega Millions jackpots won in 2020:

$119 million — September 15 in Wisconsin

$22 million — July 31 in California

$124 million — July 24 in New Jersey

$410 million — June 9 in Arizona

$202 million — February 11 in New Jersey

Other winners—dating back to 2019—were a $372 million ticket sold in Ohio and a $227 million ticket that was sold on 09/24/19 in the city of Cedar Park, Texas—a suburb north of Austin.

Mega Millions is a multi-state lottery every Tuesday and Friday night, and it is one of America's two biggest lottery jackpot games. Mega Millions jackpots start at $20 million, and other prizes pay from $1 million to $2 million or more with a Megaplier. Tickets are $2 per line, and odds of winning with a $2 Mega Millions ticket are one in 303 million. For more information on Mega Millions, or to check your past numbers, visit its website.

Powerball is the other multi-state lottery, and it also starts at $20 million. Its drawings take place shortly after 11 p.m. ET on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Here is the Powerball website for more information, or to check past winning numbers.

The Powerball jackpot rose to $730 million before a ticket sold in Maryland hit that prize earlier this week. That was the fourth-largest jackpot in that game's history. The Powerball jackpot now resets to the $20 million minimum for Saturday night.

Here are the top 10 Mega Millions Jackpots to date:

Amount/Date/Winning Tickets

  1. $1.537 billion 10/23/2018 1-SC
  2. $1 billion CURRENT JACKPOT
  3. $656 million 3/30/2012 3-IL, 1-KS, 1-MD
  4. $648 million 12/17/2013 2-CA, 1-GA
  5. $543 million 7/24/2018 1-CA
  6. $536 million 7/8/2016 1-IN
  7. $533 million 3/30/2018 1-NJ
  8. $522 million 6/07/2019 1-CA
  9. $451 million 1/5/2018 1-FL
  10. $414 million 3/18/2014 2-FL, 1-MD

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