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Multi-state lottery games start 2018 with a combined $783 million mega jackpot

Mega Millions / PowerballMega Millions / Powerball: Multi-state lottery games start 2018 with a combined $783 million mega jackpot
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Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots are both are in top 25

by Todd Northrop

2018 started with near-record cold sweeping across much of the USA, but the nation's two biggest multi-state games couldn't be hotter.

Powerball and Mega Millions have been rising steadily for the past few weeks, with both games' jackpots now at the point where even casual lottery players start to put ticket-buying on their list of to-dos.

After nobody won Mega Millions on Friday and Powerball on Saturday, the Mega Millions jackpot increased to $343 million, while Powerball leaped to $440 million.  The lump-sum cash options are $215 million and $278.3 million, respectively.

Only once before in history have two USA lottery jackpots been simultaneously greater than $300 million, and that occurred in Aug. 2017. The very next Mega Millions drawing was won by a single lottery ticket sold in Illinois and then claimed a couple of weeks later by a couple from Palos Heights.

The Powerball jackpot during that run-up reached $758.7 million and became the largest lottery jackpot in the world ever won by a single ticket. Astonishingly, 53-year-old Mavis Wanczyk walked into Massachusetts Lottery headquarters the morning after the drawing to claim the prize and participated in a press conference that afternoon.  The Massachusetts lottery machine used to sell the winning ticket is now on tour throughout the state.

At no time in history have two US jackpots been simultaneously greater than $400 million, but that milestone may be reached if the games roll another drawing or two.

Both the Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots currently are in the top 25 all-time US lottery jackpot list — both for the annuity value and the cash value. The complete top 25 lists can be found below.

(As a side note, it's amazing to think that a jackpot now has to reach a staggering $340 million before it can make the top 25 list!)

With the larger jackpot of the two games, Powerball may be attracting more attention and its jackpot is growing a bit faster.  After nobody won the $390.1 million Powerball jackpot on Saturday evening, the game added another $50 million for the next drawing on Wednesday, with the cash value adding $35.4 million to its previous amount of $242.9 million.

Mega Millions added $37 million to the previous jackpot of $306 million when nobody won on Friday night, and the cash value ticked up $24 million from its previous amount of $191 million.

Lottery players wanting to see what their take-home loot would be for this week's drawings (after initial taxes are withheld) can check out the Jackpot Analysis for Mega Millions and Jackpot Analysis for Powerball pages at USA Mega.

Tickets cost $2 each, and both games offer a multiplier feature ("Megaplier" for Mega Millions and "Power Play" for Powerball) that can be purchased for an extra $1 per play.  Players who purchase the multiplier can have their winning non-jackpot prizes multiplied by the random multiplier number drawn that evening.  A nice way to console yourself after someone else wins your jackpot.

Multipliers are available in all states offering the games except California, which bans the type of fixed prize payouts awarded by multipliers.

Mega Millions drawings are held every Tuesday and Friday evening at 11:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Pacific Time), and Powerball drawings are held Wednesday and Saturday evenings at 10:59 PM Eastern Time (7:59 PM Pacific Time).

Players looking for a nearby lottery retailer are encouraged to use Lottery Places, an app for iOS, Android, and Windows that can locate the nearest lottery retailers in every jurisdiction that sells Powerball and Mega Millions.  The helpful app can locate lottery retailers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Mexico, much of Canada, and the Caribbean.

The winning numbers for both games will be published minutes after the drawings at USA Mega (www.usamega.com), home of the USA's two mega jackpot games.

Top 25 United States lottery jackpots of all time

The current Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots currently stand as the 12th- and 24th-largest lottery jackpots of all time in the United States.  Both positions 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. Powerball: $1.5864 billion, Jan. 13, 2016 - California, Florida, Tennessee
  2. Powerball: $758.7 million, Aug. 23, 2017 - Massachusetts
  3. Mega Millions: $656 million, Mar. 30, 2012 - Illinois, Kansas, Maryland
  4. Mega Millions: $636 million, Dec. 17, 2013 - California, Georgia
  5. Powerball: $590.5 million, May 18, 2013 - Florida
  6. Powerball: $587.5 million, Nov. 28, 2012 - Arizona, Missouri
  7. Powerball: $564.1 million, Feb. 7, 2015 - North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Texas
  8. Mega Millions: $536 million, Jul. 8, 2016 - Indiana
  9. Powerball: $487 million, Jul. 30, 2016 - New Hampshire
  10. Powerball: $448.4 million, Aug. 7, 2013 - Minnesota, New Jersey (2)
  11. Powerball: $447.8 million, Jun. 10, 2017 - California
  12. Powerball: $440 million, Jan. 3, 2018 - Initial estimate, not won yet
  13. Powerball: $435.3 million, Feb. 22, 2017 - Indiana
  14. Powerball: $429.6 million, May 7, 2016 - New Jersey
  15. Powerball: $425.3 million, Feb. 19, 2014 - California
  16. Powerball: $420.9 million, Nov. 26, 2016 - Tennessee
  17. Mega Millions: $414 million, Mar. 18, 2014 - Florida, Maryland
  18. Powerball: $399.4 million, Sep. 18, 2013 - South Carolina
  19. Mega Millions: $393 million, Aug. 11, 2017 - Illinois
  20. Mega Millions: $390 million, Mar. 6, 2007 - Georgia, New Jersey
  21. Mega Millions: $380 million, Jan. 4, 2011 - Idaho, Washington
  22. Powerball: $365 million, Feb. 18, 2006 - Nebraska
  23. The Big Game: $363 million, May 9, 2000 - Illinois, Michigan
  24. Mega Millions: $343 million, Jan. 2, 2018 - Initial estimate, not won yet
  25. Powerball: $340 million, Oct. 19, 2005 - Oregon

The number of jackpots in the top 25, by lottery game, are:

  • Powerball: 16
  • Mega Millions: 8
  • The Big Game: 1

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.

The upcoming Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots rank as the 12th- and 23rd-largest cash values in U.S. history.

  1. Powerball: $983.5 million cash, Jan. 13, 2016 ($1.5864 billion annuity) - California, Florida, Tennessee
  2. Powerball: $480.5 million cash, Aug. 23, 2017 ($758.7 million annuity) - Massachusetts
  3. Mega Millions: $471 million cash, Mar. 30, 2012 ($656 million annuity) - Illinois, Kansas, Maryland
  4. Powerball: $384.7 million cash, Nov. 28, 2012 ($587.5 million annuity) - Arizona, Missouri
  5. Powerball: $381.1 million cash, Feb. 7, 2015 ($564.1 million annuity) - North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Texas
  6. Mega Millions: $378 million cash, Jul. 8, 2016 ($536 million annuity) - Indiana
  7. Powerball: $370.9 million cash, May 18, 2013 ($590.5 million annuity) - Florida
  8. Mega Millions: $347.6 million cash, Dec. 17, 2013 ($636 million annuity) - California, Georgia
  9. Powerball: $336.8 million cash, Jul. 30, 2016 ($487 million annuity) - New Hampshire
  10. Powerball: $284 million cash, May 7, 2016 ($429.6 million annuity) - New Jersey
  11. Powerball: $279.1 million cash, Jun. 10, 2017 ($447.8 million annuity) - California
  12. Powerball: $278.3 million cash, Jan. 3, 2018 ($440 million annuity) - Initial estimate, not won yet
  13. Powerball: $263.5 million cash, Feb. 22, 2017 ($435.3 million annuity) - Indiana
  14. Powerball: $258.2 million cash, Aug. 7, 2013 ($448.4 million annuity) - Minnesota, New Jersey (2)
  15. Powerball: $254.7 million cash, Nov. 26, 2016 ($420.9 million annuity) - Tennessee
  16. Mega Millions: $246.5 million cash, Aug. 11, 2017 ($393 million annuity) - Illinois
  17. Mega Millions: $240 million cash, Jan. 4, 2011 ($380 million annuity) - Idaho, Washington
  18. Mega Millions: $233.1 million cash, Mar. 6, 2007 ($390 million annuity) - Georgia, New Jersey
  19. Mega Millions: $230.9 million cash, Mar. 18, 2014 ($414 million annuity) - Florida, Maryland
  20. Powerball: $227.8 million cash, Feb. 19, 2014 ($425.3 million annuity) - California
  21. Powerball: $224.7 million cash, Aug. 15, 2012 ($337 million annuity) - Michigan
  22. Powerball: $223.3 million cash, Sep. 18, 2013 ($399.4 million annuity) - South Carolina
  23. Mega Millions: $215 million cash, Jan. 2, 2018 ($343 million annuity) - Initial estimate, not won yet
  24. Mega Millions: $214 million cash, Aug. 28, 2009 ($336 million annuity) - California, New York
  25. Powerball: $211 million cash, Mar. 23, 2013 ($338.3 million annuity) - New Jersey

The number of jackpot cash values in the top 25, by lottery game, are:

  • Powerball: 16
  • Mega Millions: 9

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39 comments. Last comment 6 months ago by KY Floyd.
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weshar75's avatar - Lottery-042.jpg
Mcminnville, Oregon
United States
Member #3013
December 13, 2003
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Posted: January 1, 2018, 10:13 pm - IP Logged

I would settle for any amount of money my tickets produce this year that can get me a claim at my lottery office.  I have not been their myself ever to claim a prize so it would be nice to see what the lottery office looks like.-weshar75

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    United States
    Member #135804
    November 29, 2012
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    Posted: January 1, 2018, 10:20 pm - IP Logged

    I WANT BOTH!

      Avatar
      md
      United States
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      April 20, 2005
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      Posted: January 1, 2018, 10:40 pm - IP Logged

      This confirms to me, that 2018 will be an outstandingly prosperous year. I'm a January born person.  This will be an incredible birthday gift. To have 2 of them climbing so high, you can't ask for more. Well, to win both is asking for a feat that will live on til life is no more. Good luck everyone.

        Avatar
        Baton Rouge, LA
        United States
        Member #4602
        May 7, 2004
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        Posted: January 1, 2018, 10:42 pm - IP Logged

        This confirms to me, that 2018 will be an outstandingly prosperous year. I'm a January born person.  This will be an incredible birthday gift. To have 2 of them climbing so high, you can't ask for more. Well, to win both is asking for a feat that will live on til life is no more. Good luck everyone.

        I was born in January too. It would be a great birthday gift indeed.

        Prisoner Six

        "I am not a number, I am a free man!"

          Avatar
          md
          United States
          Member #14047
          April 20, 2005
          607 Posts
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          Posted: January 1, 2018, 10:42 pm - IP Logged

          This confirms to me, that 2018 will be an outstandingly prosperous year. I'm a January born person.  This will be an incredible birthday gift. To have 2 of them climbing so high, you can't ask for more. Well, to win both is asking for a feat that will live on til life is no more. Good luck everyone.

          One of these will reach a billion.

            noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
            Chasing the Dream.
            White Shores- California
            United States
            Member #136477
            December 12, 2012
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            Posted: January 2, 2018, 12:05 am - IP Logged

            I would settle for any amount of money my tickets produce this year that can get me a claim at my lottery office.  I have not been their myself ever to claim a prize so it would be nice to see what the lottery office looks like.-weshar75

            US Flag

            Had a good chuckle reading your " desire" Weshar75, namely to see what the lottery office looks like LOL . I can just imagine you walking in & the staff saying " Lord Weshar75, this is an unexpected pleasure. We're honored by your presence..

            Lord Weshar75: You may dispense with the pleasantries, l'm here to pick up my check!

             

             

             * Voice of Reason *   

             

            People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

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              NY
              United States
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              October 16, 2005
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              Posted: January 2, 2018, 2:00 am - IP Logged

              "I would settle for any amount of money my tickets produce this year that can get me a claim at my lottery office."

              I've got great news for you. You're allowed to claim small prizes there, too, so all you've got to do is match the Power or Mega Ball and your wish will come true.

              I'm hoping for an amount that can only be claimed at the main office and requires me to wait a bit before getting the check.

                music*'s avatar - box
                The Big Valley in California
                United States
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                August 2, 2014
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                Posted: January 2, 2018, 2:13 am - IP Logged

                The Vast Unknown. Will either one reach a billion? Maybe both these runs.

                 Come on LP Members stop these games in their tracks and win!

                Party

                  Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.  Alan Watts and Zen Buddhism

                  noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
                  Chasing the Dream.
                  White Shores- California
                  United States
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                  December 12, 2012
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                  Posted: January 2, 2018, 2:34 am - IP Logged

                  The Vast Unknown. Will either one reach a billion? Maybe both these runs.

                   Come on LP Members stop these games in their tracks and win!

                  Party

                  My dream is to " bag" the one, and leave the other on the table for someone else. l am not greedy, l can live with either of these jackpots right now.

                   * Voice of Reason *   

                   

                  People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

                    zephbe's avatar - animal butterfly.jpg
                    South Carolina
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                    July 15, 2009
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                    Posted: January 2, 2018, 4:56 am - IP Logged

                    A million would suit me just fine.

                    Every champion was once a contender who refused to give up.-Rocky Balboa

                    “Don’t let someone who gave up on their dreams talk you out of going after yours.” – Zig Ziglar

                      Slick Nick's avatar - RYc5Gcw
                      Rochester
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                      January 1, 2011
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                      Posted: January 2, 2018, 5:38 am - IP Logged

                      A million or two would be just fine for me.

                      Money is a terrible master, but a great servant...Smile

                        music*'s avatar - box
                        The Big Valley in California
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                        August 2, 2014
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                        Posted: January 2, 2018, 5:45 am - IP Logged

                        A million or two would be just fine for me.

                        Remember John & Lisa Robinson from Munford, TN. All they wanted was a small piece of the pie. They won 1/3 of the $1.6 billion PB jackpot on 1/13/2016. A Wednesday night draw. You never know!  Dance

                          Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.  Alan Watts and Zen Buddhism

                          hearsetrax's avatar - 0118

                          United States
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                          May 21, 2007
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                          Posted: January 2, 2018, 5:49 am - IP Logged

                          good luck to all of us Lep

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                            Simpsonville
                            United States
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                            January 22, 2015
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                            Posted: January 2, 2018, 7:34 am - IP Logged

                            George Stephanopolous on Good Morning America just said the combination jackpots are over $800 million.  Guess he needs a calculator to do the simple math.