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MEGA MILLIONS JACKPOT SOARS TO $636 MILLION

Mega MillionsMega Millions: MEGA MILLIONS JACKPOT SOARS TO $636 MILLION
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Mega Millions buying frenzy sends jackpot to brink of world record

Includes video report

Updated at 1:03 pm with Maryland sales stats

By Todd Northrop

Certainly the state lotteries expected the multi-state Mega Millions October rules changes to increase jackpots, but it's fair to say the first jackpot run under the new rules exceeded their wildest expectations.

When Mega Millions changed its number matrix and prize structure in October, Texas Lottery executive director Gary Grief said, "We think that players will respond favorably to the new Mega Millions changes and expect even greater sales for the game." (See Tickets for updated Mega Millions game on sale Saturday, Lottery Post, October 18, 2013.)

What an understatement!

The official jackpot estimate for tonight's Mega Millions drawing has been raised for the second time in two days, due to heavy demand for the mind-blowing jackpot.

As of Tuesday morning, the estimated annuity jackpot for the Tuesday, December 17, 2013, Mega Millions jackpot is $636 million, with a lump-sum cash value of $341.2 million.

The increase propells tonight's jackpot total to the second-highest lottery jackpot in world history, and only $20 million shy of the all-time record $656 million jackpot, set in March of 2012 by the Mega Millions game.

But what if nobody wins the jackpot tonight?

Lottery officials have estimated that the starting jackpot estimate would be $950 million, with a cash option of $509.6 million. 

Translation:  We will see the world's first $1 billion lottery jackpot.

According to the Maryland Lottery, Mega Millions tickets in Maryland alone are being sold today at the rate of 101 tickets per second — 6,041 per minute.  The state is estimating that Maryland Lottery retailers will go through approximately 2016 rolls of paper for this particular drawing.  At 4,000 tickets per roll, that's a lot of tickets.

The rush of people trying to check their numbers on the Internet tonight will likely have most Web sites swamped.  Players are encouraged to check their numbers at USA Mega (www.usamega.com), which tends to survive incredible traffic volumes better than most state lottery Web sites.

"Players checking online should hang in there and refresh their Web browser every so often until they get through to the site," said Todd Northrop, founder of Lottery Post and USA Mega.  "The rush of traffic happens right at 11:00 Eastern Time, so waiting a half hour or so before checking the numbers will probably be easiest."

In the meantime, lottery players dreaming about what $636 million means to them after taxes have been withheld can check USA Mega's Jackpot Analysis page, which provides the information for each individual state.

VIDEO: Northrop featured on CNN's New Day program

Lottery Post founder Todd Northrop was featured on CNN's early morning New Day program in a segment discussing the Tuesday Mega Millions drawing.

z55lJLNFv40Todd Northrop, Founder of Lottery Post, featured in CNN segmentTodd Northrop, Founder of Lottery Post (www.lotterypost.com) was featured on the CNN New Day program in a segment about the Mega Millions lottery drawing on December 17, 2013.T1M46Shttp://img.youtube.com/vi/z55lJLNFv40/3.jpghttp://youtu.be/z55lJLNFv402013-12-17T11:30:00-05:00

Top 25 United States lottery jackpots of all time

Tuesday's Mega Millions jackpot currently stands as the 2nd-largest lottery jackpot of all time in the United States.  That position may rise before the drawing, as lotteries are typically conservative in their initial estimates, and brisk sales may push the jackpot estimate higher by draw time.

  1. Mega Millions: $656 million, Mar. 30, 2012 - Illinois, Kansas, Maryland
  2. Mega Millions: $636 million, Dec. 17, 2013 - Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  3. Powerball: $590.5 million, May 18, 2013 - Florida
  4. Powerball: $587.5 million, Nov. 28, 2012 - Arizona, Missouri
  5. Powerball: $448.4 million, Aug. 7, 2013 - Minnesota, New Jersey (2)
  6. Powerball: $399.4 million, Sep. 18, 2013 - South Carolina
  7. Mega Millions: $390 million, Mar. 6, 2007 - Georgia, New Jersey
  8. Mega Millions: $380 million, Jan. 4, 2011 - Idaho, Washington
  9. Powerball: $365 million, Feb. 18, 2006 - Nebraska
  10. The Big Game: $363 million, May 9, 2000 - Illinois, Michigan
  11. Powerball: $340 million, Oct. 19, 2005 - Oregon
  12. Powerball: $338.3 million, Mar. 23, 2013 - New Jersey
  13. Powerball: $337 million, Aug. 15, 2012 - Michigan
  14. Powerball: $336.4 million, Feb. 11, 2012 - Rhode Island
  15. Mega Millions: $336 million, Aug. 28, 2009 - California, New York
  16. The Big Game: $331 million, Apr. 16, 2002 - Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey
  17. Mega Millions: $330 million, Aug. 31, 2007 - Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, Virginia
  18. Mega Millions: $319 million, Mar. 25, 2011 - New York
  19. Mega Millions: $315 million, Nov. 15, 2005 - California
  20. Powerball: $314.9 million, Dec. 26, 2002 - West Virgina
  21. Powerball: $314.3 million, Aug. 25, 2007 - Indiana
  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.

Looking at the cash value, the upcoming Mega Millions jackpot ranks as the 4th-largest cash value in U.S. history.

  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. Mega Millions: $341.2 million cash, Dec. 17, 2013 ($636 million annuity) - Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  5. Powerball: $258.2 million cash, Aug. 7, 2013 ($448.4 million annuity) - Minnesota, New Jersey (2)
  6. Mega Millions: $240 million cash, Jan. 4, 2011 ($380 million annuity) - Idaho, Washington
  7. Mega Millions: $233.1 million cash, Mar. 6, 2007 ($390 million annuity) - Georgia, New Jersey
  8. Powerball: $224.7 million cash, Aug. 15, 2012 ($337 million annuity) - Michigan
  9. Powerball: $223.3 million cash, Sep. 18, 2013 ($399.4 million annuity) - South Carolina
  10. Mega Millions: $214 million cash, Aug. 28, 2009 ($336 million annuity) - California, New York
  11. Powerball: $211 million cash, Mar. 23, 2013 ($338.3 million annuity) - New Jersey
  12. Powerball: $210 million cash, Feb. 11, 2012 ($336.4 million annuity) - Rhode Island
  13. Mega Millions: $202.9 million cash, Mar. 25, 2011 ($319 million annuity) - New York
  14. Mega Millions: $194.4. million cash, Aug. 31, 2007 ($330 million annuity) - Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, Virginia
  15. Mega Millions: $185 million cash, Nov. 15, 2005 ($315 million annuity) - California
  16. The Big Game: $180 million cash, May 9, 2000 ($363 million annuity) - Illinois, Michigan
  17. Powerball: $177.3 million cash, Feb. 18, 2006 ($365 million annuity) - Nebraska
  18. Mega Millions: $168 million cash, July 2, 2004 ($294 million annuity) - Massachusetts
  19. Mega Millions: $167.7 million cash, Feb. 22, 2008 ($275 million annuity) - Georgia
  20. Powerball: $166 million cash, Aug. 25, 2001 ($295 million annuity) - Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Hampshire
  21. Mega Millions: $165.2 million cash, May 4, 2010 ($266 million annuity) - California
  22. Powerball: $164.4 million cash, won Oct. 19, 2005 ($340 million annuity) - Oregon
  23. Mega Millions: $164 million cash, Feb. 28, 2006 ($270 million annuity) - Ohio
  24. Powerball: $161.5 million cash, July 29, 1998 ($295.7 million annuity) - Indiana
  25. Mega Millions: $156.1 million cash, Sept. 16, 2005 ($258 million annuity) - New Jersey

Lottery Post Staff

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206 comments. Last comment 4 months ago by THRIFTY.
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dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
Oklahoma
United States
Member #82391
November 12, 2009
4890 Posts
Offline
Posted: December 17, 2013, 12:15 pm - IP Logged

Woo Hoo $636 million.....BananaDanceWhite Bounce

Win BIG everyone....White Bounce

I Love Pink & Green 1908

    Avatar
    San Diego, CA
    United States
    Member #58386
    February 12, 2008
    267 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: December 17, 2013, 12:22 pm - IP Logged

    Holy <snip>.

      Quinto's avatar - Lottery-022.jpg
      Washington County
      United States
      Member #131381
      August 9, 2012
      262 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: December 17, 2013, 12:23 pm - IP Logged

      75 white balls.. Really.. This is going to be cray cray if this jackpot don't go toinght. They knew it would roll this high when they changed the balls to 75 white balls. There are only 15 red, but you still have to get 5/75 and the matching red ball to boot. Yikes!

        chrissy16's avatar - 1661408 577605392325166_337397957_n.jpg

        United States
        Member #129873
        June 30, 2012
        2066 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: December 17, 2013, 12:23 pm - IP Logged

        I can't stop grinning.

           

          MzDuffleBaglady's avatar - Lottery-067.jpg
          Lucky Town
          United States
          Member #81314
          October 16, 2009
          9040 Posts
          Online
          Posted: December 17, 2013, 12:25 pm - IP Logged

          I'm going to try this one more time, lol.Party

          I bought a ticket for last Friday, "not one number".

           

          WTG @ ToddBanana

           

          Good Luck.

          Analysis:  The examination and evaluation of the relevant information to select the best course of action from among various alternatives.Type

          “If the future doesn't come toward you, you have to go fetch it”

           

            Avatar

            United States
            Member #149827
            December 9, 2013
            383 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: December 17, 2013, 12:26 pm - IP Logged

            Holy Mega Millions Batman

              Pita Maha's avatar - 940d8157 d1fb-4f70-a715-6ad04d915489.jpg
              SW Florida
              United States
              Member #145678
              August 11, 2013
              125 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: December 17, 2013, 12:27 pm - IP Logged

              Holy <snip>.

              My thoughts exactly Shocked Big Smile

                RedStang's avatar - mustangstu zps4c591ef5.jpg
                Dutchess , NY
                United States
                Member #121966
                January 21, 2012
                2310 Posts
                Online
                Posted: December 17, 2013, 12:29 pm - IP Logged

                HaHa. You sound like us at 1:00.

                  Arrowhead's avatar - underground
                  Ohio
                  United States
                  Member #120759
                  December 27, 2011
                  247 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: December 17, 2013, 12:30 pm - IP Logged

                  75 white balls.. Really.. This is going to be cray cray if this jackpot don't go toinght. They knew it would roll this high when they changed the balls to 75 white balls. There are only 15 red, but you still have to get 5/75 and the matching red ball to boot. Yikes!

                  Right. Suckers out there pluncking down $50, $100, $200-plus for tickets chasing this pipe dream. I'll buy my usual three with MP to be 'in the game', but this is looking like bad reality TV right now.

                    BuyLow's avatar - palm tree.jpg
                    Florida
                    United States
                    Member #61435
                    May 22, 2008
                    769 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: December 17, 2013, 12:33 pm - IP Logged

                    if not hit tonight they will have to call it "Mega Billions" lol

                      mrcraft's avatar - images3lp4 zps7dbb4a10.jpg
                      Los Angeles, California
                      United States
                      Member #149499
                      December 2, 2013
                      309 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: December 17, 2013, 12:33 pm - IP Logged

                      May have to go out and buy my second $1.00 after all...  Smiley

                        Avatar
                        md
                        United States
                        Member #14047
                        April 20, 2005
                        541 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: December 17, 2013, 12:36 pm - IP Logged

                        To say this is exciting is an under statement!!!!!!!!  I have no doubt there will be one Winner!!!!!!! I dont think it will be tonight.  I think I will win it on Friday.  I have my 31 page plan laid out.  Just need the transfer of funds to hit.  Wont actually claim it until late February or early March.....lol

                          dpoly1's avatar - driver
                          PA
                          United States
                          Member #66141
                          October 16, 2008
                          1422 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: December 17, 2013, 12:36 pm - IP Logged

                          Here we go folks!

                          Rudolph

                          I want to bring this home for Pennsylvania's first big win in Mega Millions!

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

                           

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

                            hearsetrax's avatar - 78638c467ef281febf24383e126f74b6

                            United States
                            Member #52345
                            May 21, 2007
                            1731 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: December 17, 2013, 12:39 pm - IP Logged

                            holy cow