Largest jackpot in 20 months
By Todd Northrop
The last time the multi-state Mega Millions jackpot was this big, it was busy setting the record for the largest lottery jackpot in history.
After nobody won Friday night's grand prize, the Mega Millions jackpot grew to an estimated $257 million — the largest since the record-setting $656 million jackpot set on March 30, 2012.
The lump-sum cash value stands at a staggering $139.2 million.
Tuesday's Mega Millions jackpot is the accumulation of 17 consecutive drawings without a top prize winner. The current jackpot run-up started on October 4 as a $12 million grand prize — it has been two months since Mega Millions has had a jackpot winner.
Players should note that jackpot amounts are conservative estimates provided by the lotteries, and are often somewhat higher by the time the drawing occurs. Occasionally the official jackpot estimate is raised even before the drawing, due to larger-than-expected sales.
In Friday night's Mega Millions drawing, there was no jackpot winner, but 1 lucky player from Kentucky matched the first 5 numbers for a $1,000,000 prize.
The Kentucky winner did not purchase their ticket with the Megaplier option for an extra $1 per play. If they had, their prize would have been increased to $4 million, because the Megaplier number drawn was 4.
Also, a total of 44 tickets matched four of the first five numbers plus the Mega Ball to win a $5,000 prize. Of those tickets, 6 were sold in California, where the prize awarded this drawing is $5,744.
The Mega Millions winning numbers for Friday, November 29, 2013, were 9, 41, 43, 47, and 57, with Mega Ball number 5. The Megaplier number was 4.
Following the Friday drawing, the Mega Millions annuity jackpot estimate was raised $27 million from its previous amount of $230 million. The cash value was raised by $14.1 million, from its previous amount of $125.1 million.
Mega Millions is currently offered for sale in 43 states, plus Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Drawings are Tuesdays and Fridays at 11:00 pm Eastern Time. Tickets cost $1 each.
A 44th Mega Millions state may be added in early 2014, as the state of Wyoming has approved a new state lottery with the intention of joining multi-state lottery games. (See Wyoming officially becomes 44th state with a lottery, Lottery Post, Mar. 14, 2013.)
The Mega Millions winning numbers are published at USA Mega (www.usamega.com) minutes after the drawing takes place.