WASHINGTON — After nearly 30 consecutive drawings without a winner, the Mega Millions jackpot was already a hefty $790 million.
But Monday afternoon, the jackpot up for grabs during Tuesday night's drawing inched closer to breaking the billion dollar mark: $810 million, or $470.1 million if the winner chooses the cash option.
It's the third largest jackpot prize in the game's history. Only two billion-dollar jackpots have ever been higher for Mega Millions.
No one won last Friday's Mega Millions $660 million prize, but four tickets won big by matching five of the six balls. Three of the tickets are worth $3 million because of the Megaplier, an optional addition that multiplies lower prizes.
The winning numbers for Friday's drawing were 14-40-60-64-66 and Gold Mega Ball 16.
The prize money has quickly climbed in the last couple of weeks, but the odds of winning remain the same — a staggering one in 302.5 million. There hasn't been a jackpot winner since April 15.
If no one wins the life-changing prize, there's a chance it could eventually set a new record. In the game's 20-year history there have only ever been two billion-dollar jackpots.
The $790 million jackpot quickly jumped the charts for the nation's largest lottery prize since the last drawing. It is now the nation's fourth largest prize. The world record for a jackpot remains $1.586 billion, which was a Powerball prize awarded in 2016.
In the chance that someone does match all six numbers, the lucky winner would have the option for an annuity option, which is paid out in 30 annual payments. However, most players choose the cash option.
Last year, a Mega Millions jackpot cracked the $1 billion mark for just the second time. A four-member suburban Detroit lottery club won that $1.05 billion jackpot and chose the lump sump, receiving $557 million after taxes.
The Mega Millions drawing is on Tuesday, July 26 at 11 p.m. ET.
What are the top 10 biggest Mega Millions jackpots?
- $1.537 billion - 10/23/2018
- $1.050 billion - 1/22/2021
- $790 million (est) - 7/26/2022
- $656 million - 3/30/2012
- $648 million - 12/17/2013
- $543 million - 7/24/2018
- $536 million - 7/8/2016
- $533 million - 3/30/2018
- $522 million - 6/7/2019
- $516 million - 5/21//2021
Mega Millions is played on Tuesday and Friday nights in 45 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.