Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
The time is now 10:12 am
You last visited August 30, 2014, 10:11 am
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

$356 MILLION: Mega Millions lottery jackpot nears record

Mega MillionsMega Millions: $356 MILLION: Mega Millions lottery jackpot nears record
56
Rating:

Biggest cash value jackpot in history

By Todd Northrop

After rolling over for the 17th consecutive time last night, the Mega Millions jackpot has been raised to a jaw-dropping $356 million for the Tuesday, March 27, drawing.

Tuesday's Grand Prize is the 5th-largest lottery jackpot of all time, but the drawing's most impressive distinction is it's cash value of $255.1 million.  That's the lump-sum cash amount the winning ticket will payout if the winner chooses to receive the prize all at once.  And that number is now the largest cash payout ever offered — a full $15 million more than the previous record holder (a $240 million Mega Millions payout in January, 2011, for a $380 milllion annuity jackpot).

The mammoth prize to be offered Tuesday is the result of 17 draws without a winner. The run-up started as a $12 million prize on Jan. 27.

The winning numbers for Friday, March 23, 2012 were 6, 17, 19, 20, and 21, with Mega Ball number 20. The Megaplier number was 4.

Even though nobody won the jackpot Tuesday, 39 lucky players matched the first 5 numbers for a $250,000 prize: 1 from Arkansas, 7 from California, 1 from Georgia, 1 from Idaho, 5 from Illinois, 2 from Louisiana, 2 from Maryland, 1 from Massachusetts, 1 from Missouri, 2 from New Hampshire, 3 from New Jersey, 6 from New York, 1 from Oklahoma, 1 from Pennsylvania, 1 from South Dakota, 1 from Texas, 1 from Washington, and 2 from Wisconsin.

The 7 California winners will each be awarded prizes of $259,268, 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. In the last Mega Millions drawing the prize formula resulted in a lower prize than normal, but this drawing the second-prize winners will receive more than the fixed prize offered in all the other states.

This is the second Mega Millions drawing in a row to avoid a jackpot winner despite drawing all "birthday numbers".  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.

Perhaps one "anomoly" that helped the jackpot to roll over was the fact that the Mega Ball number drawn, 20, was the same as one of the first five numbers.  While that is perfectly acceptible (the Mega Ball is drawn from a different pool of numbers from the first five numbers), casual players are often not aware of that possibility, and avoid picking a Mega Ball number that is the same as one of the first five numbers.  When the jackpot swells, there are an influx of casual players buying tickets.

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

Tuesday's Mega Millions jackpot currently stands as the 5th-largest lottery jackpot of all time in the United States.  That position may rise before the drawing Tuesday 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 Tuesday, 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. Mega Millions: $356 million, Mar. 27, 2012 (preliminary estimate, not won yet)
  6. Powerball: $340 million, Oct. 19, 2005 - Oregon
  7. Powerball: $336.4 million, Feb. 11, 2012 - Rhode Island
  8. Mega Millions: $336 million, Aug. 28, 2009 - California, New York
  9. The Big Game: $331 million, Apr. 16, 2002 - Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey
  10. Mega Millions: $330 million, Aug. 31, 2007 - Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, Virginia
  11. Mega Millions: $319 million, Mar. 25, 2011 - New York
  12. Mega Millions: $315 million, Nov. 15, 2005 - California
  13. Powerball: $314.9 million, Dec. 26, 2002 - West Virgina
  14. Powerball: $314.3 million, Aug. 25, 2007 - Indiana
  15. Powerball: $295.7 million, Jul. 29, 1998 - Indiana
  16. Powerball: $295 million, Aug. 25, 2001 - Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Hampshire
  17. Mega Millions: $294 million, Jul. 2, 2004 - Massachusetts
  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.

Top 20 cash value jackpots

Since many lottery winners collect their winnings in cash, the lump-sum payout is an important measure of what a ticket could be worth.

The list of top cash value jackpots has a new Number 1 entry — the Mega Millions cash jackpot for Tuesday, March 27, 2012.

  1. Mega Millions: $255.1 million cash, Mar. 27, 2012 ($356 million annuity) - preliminary estimate, not won yet
  2. Mega Millions: $240 million cash, Jan. 4, 2011 ($380 million annuity) - Idaho, Washington
  3. Mega Millions: $233.1 million cash, Mar. 6, 2007 ($390 million annuity) - Georgia, New Jersey
  4. Mega Millions: $214 million cash, Aug. 28, 2009 ($336 million annuity) - California, New York
  5. Powerball: $210 million cash, Feb. 11, 2012 ($336.4 million annuity) - Rhode Island
  6. Mega Millions: $202.9 million cash, Mar. 25, 2011 ($319 million annuity) - New York
  7. Mega Millions: $194.4. million cash, Aug. 31, 2007 ($330 million annuity) - Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, Virginia
  8. Mega Millions: $185 million cash, Nov. 15, 2005 ($315 million annuity) - California
  9. The Big Game: $180 million cash, May 9, 2000 ($363 million annuity) - Illinois, Michigan
  10. Powerball: $177.3 million cash, Feb. 18, 2006 ($365 million annuity) - Nebraska
  11. Mega Millions: $168 million cash, July 2, 2004 ($294 million annuity) - Massachusetts
  12. Mega Millions: $167.7 million cash, Feb. 22, 2008 ($275 million annuity) - Georgia
  13. Powerball: $166 million cash, Aug. 25, 2001 ($295 million annuity) - Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Hampshire
  14. Mega Millions: $165.2 million cash, May 4, 2010 ($266 million annuity) - California
  15. Powerball: $164.4 million cash, won Oct. 19, 2005 ($340 million annuity) - Oregon
  16. Mega Millions: $164 million cash, Feb. 28, 2006 ($270 million annuity) - Ohio
  17. Powerball: $161.5 million cash, July 29, 1998 ($295.7 million annuity) - Indiana
  18. Mega Millions: $156.1 million cash, Sept. 16, 2005 ($258 million annuity) - New Jersey
  19. Mega Millions: $153.3 million cash, Dec. 27, 2011 ($208 million annuity) - New York
  20. Powerball: $151.7 million cash, Nov. 2, 2011 ($254.2 million annuity) - Connecticut

The number of cash value jackpots in the top 20, by lottery game, are:

  • Mega Millions: 13
  • Powerball: 6
  • The Big Game: 1

Lottery Post Staff

We'd love to see your comments here!  Register for a FREE membership — it takes just a few moments — and you'll be able to post comments here and on any of our forums. If you're already a member, you can Log In to post a comment.

449 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by Jill34786.
Page 1 of 30

United States
Member #111446
May 25, 2011
6323 Posts
Offline
Posted: March 24, 2012, 8:40 am - IP Logged

I'll take it all in a lump sum please.    Yes Nod      What is the customary tip for $255 million?    Roll Eyes

    Piaceri's avatar - sarsony1
    Wannabe Won Percenter
    Republic of Texas
    United States
    Member #57557
    January 9, 2008
    989 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: March 24, 2012, 8:45 am - IP Logged

    With this kind of winnings, relocation is pretty much a given even if you are able to remain anonymous.  After I take advantage of Texas' limited publicity through multiple legal entities, I'd be relocating to a beach front villa in the Caribbean until hurricane season.... Got to go some place to chill for a bit and let reality sink in.

    I'm not sure how much reality sinks in while sunning on a Caribbean beach. Hippy

    My guess is that it will take a couple months to get legal entities all set up with tax ID and such, scrub your personal info from the internet, etc. I believe I read that it takes either 2 or 4 days for electronic transfer after claiming in Texas. I'd be curious to know of the bank will hold access to that transfer. LOL, I can see it now, "what do you mean you won't give me access to my $200 million deposit?!?" Darn banks. Stay away from the big banks initially. Your money is really their money. 

    OK, I'm done thinking the process through. Good luck to everyone on Tuesday! I'm off to the gym and picking up tickets on my way. White Bounce

    face

    singlewinnersinglewinnersinglewinner   

      mightwin's avatar - questns

      United States
      Member #103789
      January 5, 2011
      443 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: March 24, 2012, 8:59 am - IP Logged

      4 days worth of sales before the next draw, if it doesn't make it to $400 million I will be surprised. But that really doesn't matter because the cash option amount is good enough now.............

        Bigheadnick's avatar - badluck
        Taunton, Ma
        United States
        Member #123010
        February 11, 2012
        136 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: March 24, 2012, 8:59 am - IP Logged

        Anyone know where I can find info about winners that were quick picks compared to winners that chose their numbers? because the last 2 drawing, I have a hard time believing anyone would choose those combo's. If someone were to win either of the last 2 they would HAVE to be QP's no?

        Scratchies for the win!

        We are in a two-party dictatorship. You want change ? Vote third partyThumbs Up

          Avatar
          Orlando, FL
          United States
          Member #115789
          August 28, 2011
          259 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: March 24, 2012, 9:01 am - IP Logged

          I can't playSad Wavey All we have is a Powerball that charges $2.00 per ticketNo Nod

          Thud

            mightwin's avatar - questns

            United States
            Member #103789
            January 5, 2011
            443 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: March 24, 2012, 9:04 am - IP Logged

            I can't playSad Wavey All we have is a Powerball that charges $2.00 per ticketNo Nod

            Thud

            No matter what part of Florida I lived in I would be taking a road trip to Georgia........lol

              gocart1's avatar - lighthouse
              da bronx,city island,n.y.
              United States
              Member #30516
              January 17, 2006
              333 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: March 24, 2012, 9:06 am - IP Logged

              I can't playSad Wavey All we have is a Powerball that charges $2.00 per ticketNo Nod

              Thud

              Just take a ride to another state...If you dont have a car  thumb a ride..

                gocart1's avatar - lighthouse
                da bronx,city island,n.y.
                United States
                Member #30516
                January 17, 2006
                333 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: March 24, 2012, 9:07 am - IP Logged

                No matter what part of Florida I lived in I would be taking a road trip to Georgia........lol

                I Agree!      Yeap

                  Avatar
                  Orlando, FL
                  United States
                  Member #115789
                  August 28, 2011
                  259 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: March 24, 2012, 9:08 am - IP Logged

                  Just take a ride to another state...If you dont have a car  thumb a ride..

                  ThudLOL! All  I can do is thumb a ride to Disney where they charge an arm and a leg to get inDisney


                    United States
                    Member #111446
                    May 25, 2011
                    6323 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: March 24, 2012, 9:09 am - IP Logged

                    Anyone know where I can find info about winners that were quick picks compared to winners that chose their numbers? because the last 2 drawing, I have a hard time believing anyone would choose those combo's. If someone were to win either of the last 2 they would HAVE to be QP's no?

                    With millions playing, I think anything is possible as far as how people choose their numbers. It might not be birthdays, could be numbers

                    representing any range of personal meanings such as hunch's, lucky numbers, athletic achievements, etc. Why would they have to be QP's?


                      United States
                      Member #111446
                      May 25, 2011
                      6323 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: March 24, 2012, 9:11 am - IP Logged

                      Just take a ride to another state...If you dont have a car  thumb a ride..

                      Thumbs Up Thumb works great, I hitched from NH to CA with it in 8 days!

                        Avatar

                        United States
                        Member #94618
                        July 24, 2010
                        4456 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: March 24, 2012, 9:19 am - IP Logged

                        Ok, WHAT am I missing?  Why is the cash value so HIGH ? The Jackpot is 356 mil, how is the cash vaule MORE than the winning Jackpot of 390 mil ????

                        My first guess is LOW interest rates - means it take more money for cash value to annuitize to the jackpot amount, thus taking a higher cash value. 

                          KSplayer's avatar - lightening
                          KS
                          United States
                          Member #103009
                          December 29, 2010
                          108 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: March 24, 2012, 9:35 am - IP Logged

                          Holy Moly that is A LOT of cash. WOW  Stretch

                           

                          GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!!!!

                          DREAMS DO COME TRUE!!!!!!!!!Blue Angel

                            KSplayer's avatar - lightening
                            KS
                            United States
                            Member #103009
                            December 29, 2010
                            108 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: March 24, 2012, 9:40 am - IP Logged

                            If no one wins tuesday i think it will go well over $400 Million

                            DREAMS DO COME TRUE!!!!!!!!!Blue Angel