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$290 MILLION: Mega Millions lottery jackpot rolls again

Mega MillionsMega Millions: $290 MILLION: Mega Millions lottery jackpot rolls again
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Biggest Mega Millions jackpot in a year

68 tickets just missed winning the jackpot

By Todd Northrop

This is the time when both lottery regulars and casual players jump in with both feet.

The Mega Millions lottery jackpot has entered into the top 25 jackpots of all time, now sitting at number 17.  It is the kind of top prize that makes people do a double-take at the cash register and throw down some extra bucks for a shot at glory. 

And not only is the annuity jackpot nearing the top of the charts, but the cash value is blowing the lid off at a whopping $205.5 million.

This is the largest Mega Millions jackpot since March 25, 2011, when seven state workers from Albany, New York, won a $319 million Mega Millions jackpot (see $319M lottery winners revealed, Lottery Post, March 31, 2011).

But this time the lump-sum cash value is almost $3 million higher than the $202.9 million won a year ago by the seven co-workers from Albany.

The mammoth prize to be offered Friday is the result of 16 draws without a winner. The run-up started as a $12 million prize on Jan. 27.

The winning numbers for Tuesday, March 20, 2012 were 1, 4, 6, 11, and 14, with Mega Ball number 30. The Megaplier number was 4.

Even though nobody won the jackpot Tuesday, an astonishing 68 lucky players matched the first 5 numbers for a $250,000 prize: 21 from California, 1 from Idaho, 1 from Illinois, 2 from Indiana, 3 from Kentucky, 1 from Maryland, 3 from Massachusetts, 9 from Michigan, 2 from Missouri, 5 from New Jersey, 8 from New York, 2 from Ohio, 2 from Pennsylvania, 1 from South Carolina, 1 from Tennessee, 4 from Texas, 1 from Vermont, and 1 from Wisconsin.

The 21 California winners will each be awarded prizes of $56,382, because California awards all prizes in a pari-mutuel formula, which calculates the prize amount based on the number of tickets sold and the number of winners in each prize category. Even though the total prize pool for the second prize was $1,184,022, the fact that there were an unprecedented 21 winners made each winner's cut less than normal.

The unusual number of second prize winners is likely due to the fact that all of the first five numbers were less than 31 — "birthday numbers", in lottery lingo.  Since one of the most popular ways to play the lottery is to pick numbers based on birthdays of family members, lottery drawings containing all low numbers normally produce many winners.

The amazing thing is that none of those 68 tickets matching the first five numbers matched Mega Ball number 30 — it too being a birthday number.

The winning numbers for Friday's Mega Millions lottery drawing will be published at USA Mega (www.usamega.com) right after the drawing takes place at 11:00 PM Eastern Time.

USA Mega is one of the few lottery Web sites with a robust technology backbone that keeps it running strong, even when massive player traffic melts down other state lottery Web sites.

The site provides lottery players in-depth information about the United States's two biggest multi-state lottery games, Mega Millions and Powerball.

Lottery players who want to see the Friday's Mega Millions after-tax jackpot amount for both the annuity and cash value can visit USA Mega's Jackpot Analysis page, which calculates the tax withholdings for every state that offers Mega Millions.

USA Mega is the originator of the Jackpot Analysis feature.

Top 25 United States lottery jackpots of all time

Friday's Mega Millions jackpot currently stands as the 17th-largest lottery jackpot of all time in the United States.  That position may rise before the drawing Friday night, as lotteries are typically conservative in their initial estimates, and brisk sales may push the jackpot estimate higher by draw time.

If nobody wins Friday, it's anyone's guess how high it will go.

  1. Mega Millions: $390 million, Mar. 6, 2007 - Georgia, New Jersey
  2. Mega Millions: $380 million, Jan. 4, 2011 - Idaho, Washington
  3. Powerball: $365 million, Feb. 18, 2006 - Nebraska
  4. The Big Game: $363 million, May 9, 2000 - Illinois, Michigan
  5. Powerball: $340 million, Oct. 19, 2005 - Oregon
  6. Powerball: $336.4 million, Feb. 11, 2012 - Rhode Island
  7. Mega Millions: $336 million, Aug. 28, 2009 - California, New York
  8. The Big Game: $331 million, Apr. 16, 2002 - Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey
  9. Mega Millions: $330 million, Aug. 31, 2007 - Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, Virginia
  10. Mega Millions: $319 million, Mar. 25, 2011 - New York
  11. Mega Millions: $315 million, Nov. 15, 2005 - California
  12. Powerball: $314.9 million, Dec. 26, 2002 - West Virgina
  13. Powerball: $314.3 million, Aug. 25, 2007 - Indiana
  14. Powerball: $295.7 million, Jul. 29, 1998 - Indiana
  15. Powerball: $295 million, Aug. 25, 2001 - Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Hampshire
  16. Mega Millions: $294 million, Jul. 2, 2004 - Massachusetts
  17. Mega Millions: $290 million, Mar. 23, 2012 (preliminary estimate, not won yet)
  18. Powerball: $276.3 million, Mar. 15, 2008 - West Virgina
  19. Mega Millions: $275 million, Feb. 22, 2008 - Georgia
  20. Mega Millions: $270 million, Feb. 28, 2006 - Ohio
  21. Mega Millions: $266 million, May 4, 2010 - California
  22. Mega Millions: $265 million, Apr. 18, 2006 - Ohio
  23. Powerball: $261.6 million, Jun. 2, 2010 - Ohio
  24. Powerball: $261.3 million, Jul. 9, 2003 - Missouri, Pennsylvania
  25. Powerball: $259.9 million, Aug. 19, 2009 - South Carolina

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

  • Mega Millions: 12
  • Powerball: 11
  • The Big Game: 2

The Big Game is the original name of Mega Millions, from the game's first drawing on Sep. 6, 1996 through May 14, 2002.  The name was changed to Mega Millions starting with the May 17, 2002 drawing.

Lottery Post Staff

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256 comments. Last comment 3 years ago by surimaribo24.
Page 1 of 18
s5thomps's avatar - Lottery-033.jpg
Hard Luck, Ak
United States
Member #23472
October 13, 2005
252 Posts
Offline
Posted: March 21, 2012, 6:37 am - IP Logged

Wow....68 winners! Why does California always have the most 5/6 winners! I am sure the population in New York is larger than California. Congrats to all of the 5/6 winners. Too bad California is pari-mutual. $56,000 compared to $250,000 for states other than California....still not bad for a $1.00 investment.

"We make a living by what you get, You make a LIFE by what you give!"

                                                               Sir Winston ChurchillSun Smiley

    Avatar
    Delaware
    United States
    Member #93505
    July 1, 2010
    404 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: March 21, 2012, 6:46 am - IP Logged

    Wow....68 winners! Why does California always have the most 5/6 winners! I am sure the population in New York is larger than California. Congrats to all of the 5/6 winners. Too bad California is pari-mutual. $56,000 compared to $250,000 for states other than California....still not bad for a $1.00 investment.

    Because, they don't have the powerball and that's there big game? Either way I wish everyone here at Lottery Post the best of luck Friday!

      Piaceri's avatar - sarsony1
      Wannabe Won Percenter
      Republic of Texas
      United States
      Member #57557
      January 9, 2008
      996 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: March 21, 2012, 7:56 am - IP Logged

      I thought for sure someone won that last night! Wow! I'd like to see it roll one more time! Rock n roll MM!

       

      White BouncePartyDanceBananaHyper

      face

      singlewinnersinglewinnersinglewinner   

        hearsetrax's avatar - 78638c467ef281febf24383e126f74b6

        United States
        Member #52345
        May 21, 2007
        1864 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: March 21, 2012, 8:09 am - IP Logged

        I thought for sure someone won that last night! Wow! I'd like to see it roll one more time! Rock n roll MM!

         

        White BouncePartyDanceBananaHyper

        lol @ Piaceri .......

        I haven't even checked my tickets yet ........ but from some of this morning's comments ........

        I wouldn't be suprise to see it break 300 by friday

          Uff Da!'s avatar - InCelebration 001.jpg
          Washington State
          United States
          Member #33973
          February 26, 2006
          345 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: March 21, 2012, 8:10 am - IP Logged

          $205.5 million cash!  Now that is getting downright exciting!


            United States
            Member #111446
            May 25, 2011
            6323 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: March 21, 2012, 8:18 am - IP Logged

            All low numbers last night. What about this Friday, all high numbers. What?  Eek That's the $290 Million dollar question.   

             

            We need to cool ourselves off,   Dunk   re-think, re-strategize and get back in the game    Boxing     to bring down this giant!   Thud

              NightStalker's avatar - IMG00073 20100720-1609_2.jpg
              Nothing Good Happens After Midnight
              East of Columbus, OH
              United States
              Member #120848
              December 28, 2011
              416 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: March 21, 2012, 8:39 am - IP Logged

              All low numbers last night. What about this Friday, all high numbers. What?  Eek That's the $290 Million dollar question.   

               

              We need to cool ourselves off,   Dunk   re-think, re-strategize and get back in the game    Boxing     to bring down this giant!   Thud

              All low numbers last night. What about this Friday, all high numbers.

               

              I was wondering that same thing.  I had 2 numbers on one line and the MB on another on my $5 qp.

              It makes your head spin thinking about that enormous JP!

               

              Dance

              Life's Too Short To Be Unhappy Cool

                dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
                Oklahoma
                United States
                Member #82391
                November 12, 2009
                5351 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: March 21, 2012, 8:40 am - IP Logged

                $290 million that's what i'm talking about.....Thumbs Up

                Congrats to the 68  winners.............Hurray!


                  United States
                  Member #111446
                  May 25, 2011
                  6323 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: March 21, 2012, 8:55 am - IP Logged

                  All low numbers last night. What about this Friday, all high numbers.

                   

                  I was wondering that same thing.  I had 2 numbers on one line and the MB on another on my $5 qp.

                  It makes your head spin thinking about that enormous JP!

                   

                  Dance

                  My head spun so much it flew away like a Frisbee, I'm still looking for it this morning. Problem is my eyes are still attached to my head, so I'm

                  having to use a blind man's cane to track it down. Worth it though, $290 Million will get my head to stop from spinning once it's direct deposited

                  into several of my new bank accounts.   Yes Nod      Banana

                    Avatar
                    WV
                    United States
                    Member #107179
                    March 2, 2011
                    68 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: March 21, 2012, 9:22 am - IP Logged

                    The list shows this is number 17 on the list of biggest all time winners. The cash option is almost $206 million. I think this makes it the 6th biggest prize ever for the cash option.

                      dpoly1's avatar - driver
                      PA
                      United States
                      Member #66141
                      October 16, 2008
                      1447 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: March 21, 2012, 9:24 am - IP Logged

                      Wow....68 winners! Why does California always have the most 5/6 winners! I am sure the population in New York is larger than California. Congrats to all of the 5/6 winners. Too bad California is pari-mutual. $56,000 compared to $250,000 for states other than California....still not bad for a $1.00 investment.

                      California has had the largest population for a long time !

                      California: 37,253,956

                      Texas: 25,145,561

                      New York: 19,378,102

                       

                      And now the $133,575,000 after 35% Federal Taxes goes to Pennsylvania's first big Mega Millions winner!

                      Cheers

                      dpoly1 - Playing the lottery to save the jobs of those that build, transport, sell & maintain luxury items! -

                       

                      Eschew Poverty ........... Vote Conservative!

                        RedStang's avatar - 20130829 151641_zps3qbxhhqb.jpg
                        Dutchess NY
                        United States
                        Member #121966
                        January 21, 2012
                        2642 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: March 21, 2012, 9:31 am - IP Logged

                        I'm more impressed with the 68 winners, then the jackpot. Thats a 17mill payback. I think someone was right about the birthday numbers. I see one of those was sold thirty mins from me. Who is the lucky dog.

                          s5thomps's avatar - Lottery-033.jpg
                          Hard Luck, Ak
                          United States
                          Member #23472
                          October 13, 2005
                          252 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: March 21, 2012, 9:37 am - IP Logged

                          California has had the largest population for a long time !

                          California: 37,253,956

                          Texas: 25,145,561

                          New York: 19,378,102

                           

                          And now the $133,575,000 after 35% Federal Taxes goes to Pennsylvania's first big Mega Millions winner!

                          Cheers

                          Thanks for the info Dploy 1! Good luck on Friday!

                          "We make a living by what you get, You make a LIFE by what you give!"

                                                                                         Sir Winston ChurchillSun Smiley

                            dpoly1's avatar - driver
                            PA
                            United States
                            Member #66141
                            October 16, 2008
                            1447 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: March 21, 2012, 9:51 am - IP Logged

                            Thanks for the info Dploy 1! Good luck on Friday!

                            You are very welcome!

                            Thank you for the "Good luck" wishes and good luck to you also!  Lep

                            1 big winner of the Green on Friday!  See Ya!

                            dpoly1 - Playing the lottery to save the jobs of those that build, transport, sell & maintain luxury items! -

                             

                            Eschew Poverty ........... Vote Conservative!