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$297 MILLION: Mega Millions jackpot raised again before tonight's drawing

Mega MillionsMega Millions: $297 MILLION: Mega Millions jackpot raised again before tonight's drawing
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By Todd Northrop

Across the United States, tickets for tonight's Mega Millions multi-state lottery drawing are being sold at a higher-than-expected rate, prompting the state lotteries to raise the official jackpot estimate to $297 million.

The lump-sum cash value of the Friday, December 6 jackpot is now $158.9 million.

As a result of the updated jackpot estimate, tonight's Mega Millions jackpot now stands as the 21st largest United States lottery jackpot of all time, and the 8th-largest Mega Millions jackpot ever.  The cash value holds the same 24th position as it did previously.  (See the complete list of top 25 annuity and cash jackpots below.)

"New Jersey loves to hand out winnings to its players," said Carole Hedinger, Executive Director of the New Jersey Lottery. "When the Mega Millions game enhancements were made back in October, they were designed to increase the number of players who would win prizes and allow the jackpots to climb higher, and that has proven to be effective."

The current jackpot has climbed to $297 million after 18 rolls.

Lottery players seeking to check the winning numbers Saturday night are urged to use USA Mega (www.usamega.com).  State lottery Web sites are normally sluggish or brought to a standstill during busy periods, while USA Mega normally remains responsive.

Mega Millions drawing results will be posted immediately after the 11:00 pm drawing at USA Mega. The number of winners and new jackpot will be announced after all participating states have reported their data, which normally occurs within a few hours after the drawing.

Tickets will remain on sale typically until 10:45 pm Eastern Time on Saturday, although players should check with a lottery retailer in their state for the exact sales cutoff time. Players are advised not to wait until the last minute.

The odds of winning the jackpot are approximately 1 in 259 million. The odds of winning any of the Mega Millions prizes are 1 in 14.7.

Mega Millions tickets cost $1 each.  For an extra $1 per ticket players can purchase the Megaplier option, which multiplies any non-jackpot won by up to 5 times, depending on the Megaplier number drawn that evening.

The only state that does not offer the Megaplier is California, because state law banning fixed lottery prize amounts is not compatible with the fixed nature of the Megaplier payouts.

Lottery players can see an after-tax analysis of the current Mega Millions jackpot by visiting USA Mega's Jackpot Analysis page.

Mega Millions features nine different prize levels, ranging from $1 all the way up to the jackpot. Players can win even if they just match one number — the Mega Ball number.

Top 25 United States lottery jackpots of all time

The increased jackpot for Friday's Mega Millions drawing has raised its position on the top-25 list to the 21st position.

  1. Mega Millions: $656 million, Mar. 30, 2012 - Illinois, Kansas, Maryland
  2. Powerball: $590.5 million, May 18, 2013 - Florida
  3. Powerball: $587.5 million, Nov. 28, 2012 - Arizona, Missouri
  4. Powerball: $448.4 million, Aug. 7, 2013 - Minnesota, New Jersey (2)
  5. Powerball: $399.4 million, Sep. 18, 2013 - South Carolina
  6. Mega Millions: $390 million, Mar. 6, 2007 - Georgia, New Jersey
  7. Mega Millions: $380 million, Jan. 4, 2011 - Idaho, Washington
  8. Powerball: $365 million, Feb. 18, 2006 - Nebraska
  9. The Big Game: $363 million, May 9, 2000 - Illinois, Michigan
  10. Powerball: $340 million, Oct. 19, 2005 - Oregon
  11. Powerball: $338.3 million, Mar. 23, 2013 - New Jersey
  12. Powerball: $337 million, Aug. 15, 2012 - Michigan
  13. Powerball: $336.4 million, Feb. 11, 2012 - Rhode Island
  14. Mega Millions: $336 million, Aug. 28, 2009 - California, New York
  15. The Big Game: $331 million, Apr. 16, 2002 - Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey
  16. Mega Millions: $330 million, Aug. 31, 2007 - Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, Virginia
  17. Mega Millions: $319 million, Mar. 25, 2011 - New York
  18. Mega Millions: $315 million, Nov. 15, 2005 - California
  19. Powerball: $314.9 million, Dec. 26, 2002 - West Virgina
  20. Powerball: $314.3 million, Aug. 25, 2007 - Indiana
  21. Mega Millions: $297 million, Dec. 6, 2013 - Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  22. Powerball: $295.7 million, Jul. 29, 1998 - Indiana
  23. Powerball: $295 million, Aug. 25, 2001 - Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Hampshire
  24. Mega Millions: $294 million, Jul. 2, 2004 - Massachusetts
  25. Powerball: $276.3 million, Mar. 15, 2008 - West Virgina

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

  • Mega Millions: 9
  • Powerball: 14
  • 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 25 cash value jackpots

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

Even though the cash value has increased, the Friday Mega Millions drawing holds firm to the 24th position on the all-time list of largest United States lottery cash values.

  1. Mega Millions: $471 million cash, Mar. 30, 2012 ($656 million annuity) - Illinois, Kansas, Maryland
  2. Powerball: $384.7 million cash, Nov. 28, 2012 ($587.5 million annuity) - Arizona, Missouri
  3. Powerball: $370.9 million cash, May 18, 2013 ($590.5 million annuity) - Florida
  4. Powerball: $258.2 million cash, Aug. 7, 2013 ($448.4 million annuity) - Minnesota, New Jersey (2)
  5. Mega Millions: $240 million cash, Jan. 4, 2011 ($380 million annuity) - Idaho, Washington
  6. Mega Millions: $233.1 million cash, Mar. 6, 2007 ($390 million annuity) - Georgia, New Jersey
  7. Powerball: $224.7 million cash, Aug. 15, 2012 ($337 million annuity) - Michigan
  8. Powerball: $223.3 million cash, Sep. 18, 2013 ($399.4 million annuity) - South Carolina
  9. Mega Millions: $214 million cash, Aug. 28, 2009 ($336 million annuity) - California, New York
  10. Powerball: $211 million cash, Mar. 23, 2013 ($338.3 million annuity) - New Jersey
  11. Powerball: $210 million cash, Feb. 11, 2012 ($336.4 million annuity) - Rhode Island
  12. Mega Millions: $202.9 million cash, Mar. 25, 2011 ($319 million annuity) - New York
  13. Mega Millions: $194.4. million cash, Aug. 31, 2007 ($330 million annuity) - Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, Virginia
  14. Mega Millions: $185 million cash, Nov. 15, 2005 ($315 million annuity) - California
  15. The Big Game: $180 million cash, May 9, 2000 ($363 million annuity) - Illinois, Michigan
  16. Powerball: $177.3 million cash, Feb. 18, 2006 ($365 million annuity) - Nebraska
  17. Mega Millions: $168 million cash, July 2, 2004 ($294 million annuity) - Massachusetts
  18. Mega Millions: $167.7 million cash, Feb. 22, 2008 ($275 million annuity) - Georgia
  19. Powerball: $166 million cash, Aug. 25, 2001 ($295 million annuity) - Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Hampshire
  20. Mega Millions: $165.2 million cash, May 4, 2010 ($266 million annuity) - California
  21. Powerball: $164.4 million cash, won Oct. 19, 2005 ($340 million annuity) - Oregon
  22. Mega Millions: $164 million cash, Feb. 28, 2006 ($270 million annuity) - Ohio
  23. Powerball: $161.5 million cash, July 29, 1998 ($295.7 million annuity) - Indiana
  24. Mega Millions: $158.9 million cash, Dec. 6, 2013 ($297 million annuity) - Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  25. Mega Millions: $156.1 million cash, Sept. 16, 2005 ($258 million annuity) - New Jersey

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61 comments. Last comment 4 months ago by Jon D.
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DDOH937's avatar - Lottery-028.jpg

United States
Member #149603
December 4, 2013
174 Posts
Offline
Posted: December 6, 2013, 5:24 pm - IP Logged

Like I've said. No winner by Christmas and we'll be certainly staring at our first Billion dollar pot. The Frenzy has started. Whoooopppeeee!!!!! In it to win it.

"It's good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it's good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven't lost the things that money can't buy." - George Lorimer

    hearsetrax's avatar - 78638c467ef281febf24383e126f74b6

    United States
    Member #52345
    May 21, 2007
    1736 Posts
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    Posted: December 6, 2013, 5:29 pm - IP Logged

    Like I've said. No winner by Christmas and we'll be certainly staring at our first Billion dollar pot. The Frenzy has started. Whoooopppeeee!!!!! In it to win it.

    Skepticalcuriouser and cusiouser

      Avatar
      Columbus, OH
      United States
      Member #96393
      August 28, 2010
      81 Posts
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      Posted: December 6, 2013, 5:30 pm - IP Logged

      I pray everyone the best.

        Kee12's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
        I rep CA
        Senegal
        Member #144817
        July 17, 2013
        54 Posts
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        Posted: December 6, 2013, 5:34 pm - IP Logged

        Lone ticket winnner emerging tonight?...... Banana

        I'd be a fool to surrender when I know I can be a contender...I C U when U get there - Coolio

          gocart1's avatar - lighthouse
          da bronx,city island,n.y.
          United States
          Member #30516
          January 17, 2006
          331 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: December 6, 2013, 6:06 pm - IP Logged

          Like I've said. No winner by Christmas and we'll be certainly staring at our first Billion dollar pot. The Frenzy has started. Whoooopppeeee!!!!! In it to win it.

          WOOO heee

            dpoly1's avatar - driver
            PA
            United States
            Member #66141
            October 16, 2008
            1422 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: December 6, 2013, 6:12 pm - IP Logged

            I'll take about $95,000,000 after Federal Redistribution!

            It WILL be Christmas in December!

            Noel

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

             

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

              Avatar
              NY
              United States
              Member #23835
              October 16, 2005
              2809 Posts
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              Posted: December 6, 2013, 6:14 pm - IP Logged

              Like I've said. No winner by Christmas and we'll be certainly staring at our first Billion dollar pot. The Frenzy has started. Whoooopppeeee!!!!! In it to win it.

              You set the bar pretty low if you think that's a frenzy.

              The last time MM got this high was almost 2 years ago, in the run up to the record $656 jackpot. At that time the advertised jackpot was increased $49 million, from 241 to 290 million, compared to the current increase of $40 million. The actual cash value increase was more than $34 million, compared to the current increase of  about $21.5 million. If it rolls, maybe we'll see something approaching a real frenzy after they start advertising a jackpot that starts with a 3.

              Unless sales really don't take off at all, rolling until the Tuesday before Christmas would probably take it to at least a billion. Rolling to the following Friday would certainly break the billion mark, and could well be considerably more. The current sales are small enough that a rollover is very likely, but another 4 or 5 rollovers is very unlikely, assuming we do see sales in the  $250 million range.

                Avatar
                Place noon can live
                United States
                Member #142740
                May 18, 2013
                44 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: December 6, 2013, 6:17 pm - IP Logged

                I want to see people in here win jackpot or atleast the second prize. Me MeUS FlagHurray!

                  Avatar

                  United States
                  Member #122329
                  January 29, 2012
                  61 Posts
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                  Posted: December 6, 2013, 6:43 pm - IP Logged

                  I hope I saved my luck for tonight as I had 8037 in the Illinoins mid day pick four (box & straigt) and it came in 3037.   Sad.

                    sully16's avatar - sharan
                    Listens to the wind

                    United States
                    Member #81740
                    October 28, 2009
                    17924 Posts
                    Online
                    Posted: December 6, 2013, 7:47 pm - IP Logged

                    Good luck everyone.Hurray!

                    There's only one US Flag

                      Avatar
                      New Jersey
                      United States
                      Member #21206
                      September 4, 2005
                      912 Posts
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                      Posted: December 6, 2013, 8:14 pm - IP Logged

                      You set the bar pretty low if you think that's a frenzy.

                      The last time MM got this high was almost 2 years ago, in the run up to the record $656 jackpot. At that time the advertised jackpot was increased $49 million, from 241 to 290 million, compared to the current increase of $40 million. The actual cash value increase was more than $34 million, compared to the current increase of  about $21.5 million. If it rolls, maybe we'll see something approaching a real frenzy after they start advertising a jackpot that starts with a 3.

                      Unless sales really don't take off at all, rolling until the Tuesday before Christmas would probably take it to at least a billion. Rolling to the following Friday would certainly break the billion mark, and could well be considerably more. The current sales are small enough that a rollover is very likely, but another 4 or 5 rollovers is very unlikely, assuming we do see sales in the  $250 million range.

                      Consider this:   This coming draw will be a 19th draw.    This has happened twice.   Once right after the switch to the $2 Powerball ticket - I think before the new Powerball actually set in people's pysche - whereupon the Jackpot was $651 million annuity, the largest ever observed.   On that single draw, at the end of March 2012, MM actually sold around $650 million in tickets.

                      The next 19th draw took place in May of this year, producing a jackpot of $190 million, and sold around 60 million tickets.   Arguably the $2 Powerball ticket cost the lotteries overall, something like $600,000,000 in lost sales, although its not clear that in the old days we would have seen another 19th draw at least for a long time.

                      Right now, with the new matrix, comparing draw numbers to draw numbers, sales have actually further eroded compared to the old matrix.    One might not expect this much sense from the customers of the lotteries, but that's the situation immediately.    The new matrix is a much, much, much worse deal than the old one, not that the old one was ever a good deal, although in those days one could actually see expectation values close to and even exceeding 1.00

                      I would imagine that it would take up to 25 draws to reach a billion dollar jackpot (annuity) under these circumstances, should they prevail.    That would take three months from the next won jackpot.

                      Consider this last draw.    We had a jackpot with a weaker cash to annuity ratio that sold less than 50 million tickets, whereas in that March 2012, the comparably sized jackpot sold close to 80 million tickets, jumping from $241 million to $290 million with a much higher cash to annuity ratio.   I have a few tickets in this game - what the heck - but basically I think the $2 Powerball ticket thoroughly wrecked Megamillions and I don't expect that this bad idea of much worse odds for the jackpot, coupled with lower prize values for the lower tier (except for 5 of 5 with no Megaball), is going to improve the situation.

                        DDOH937's avatar - Lottery-028.jpg

                        United States
                        Member #149603
                        December 4, 2013
                        174 Posts
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                        Posted: December 6, 2013, 8:24 pm - IP Logged

                        You set the bar pretty low if you think that's a frenzy.

                        The last time MM got this high was almost 2 years ago, in the run up to the record $656 jackpot. At that time the advertised jackpot was increased $49 million, from 241 to 290 million, compared to the current increase of $40 million. The actual cash value increase was more than $34 million, compared to the current increase of  about $21.5 million. If it rolls, maybe we'll see something approaching a real frenzy after they start advertising a jackpot that starts with a 3.

                        Unless sales really don't take off at all, rolling until the Tuesday before Christmas would probably take it to at least a billion. Rolling to the following Friday would certainly break the billion mark, and could well be considerably more. The current sales are small enough that a rollover is very likely, but another 4 or 5 rollovers is very unlikely, assuming we do see sales in the  $250 million range.

                        Hmmm, fair points. My comment on frenzy was merely predicated on the fact that it was a pre-draw jump, albiet a mini one. But i get your point and i think you just might be right. But ooking at the past drawing that led up to the $656 million jackpot....the tuesdays draw that week was $290 million, and then by the Friday's draw the final tally was $656 mil, that was a $300 million jump. Now with the odds increased with a 50% degree of difficulty. I think 3 more draws AFTER tonight's draw might just bring it to the billion+ mark. And i say.....WHY NOT!!! Banana

                        "It's good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it's good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven't lost the things that money can't buy." - George Lorimer

                          JonnyBgood07's avatar - Patriots logo1.jpg
                          Connecticut
                          United States
                          Member #61623
                          May 29, 2008
                          18844 Posts
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                          Posted: December 6, 2013, 8:29 pm - IP Logged

                          Is it me or has the 'JP cash value 'decreased in MM since they started the new marix?

                          "...Life is not a matter of holding good cards,but sometimes playing a poor hand well...
                          'Fortune Cookie wisdom'

                           


                            DDOH937's avatar - Lottery-028.jpg

                            United States
                            Member #149603
                            December 4, 2013
                            174 Posts
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                            Posted: December 6, 2013, 8:32 pm - IP Logged

                            Is it me or has the 'JP cash value 'decreased in MM since they started the new marix?

                            We should also remember that the cash value in relation to the annuity fluctautes and changes over time as its based on interest rates.

                            "It's good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it's good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven't lost the things that money can't buy." - George Lorimer