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Mega Millions and Powerball roll to combined $785 million jackpot

Dec 31, 2020, 3:19 pm

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Mega Millions / PowerballMega Millions / Powerball: Mega Millions and Powerball roll to combined $785 million jackpotRating:

2021 begins with two massive lottery jackpots ready to be won

By Kate Northrop

With many people aching to finally cast aside 2020 and breathe a sigh of relief, the United States' two biggest multi-state lottery games feature jackpots worth nearly $800 million combined that will instantly change the fortunes of whomever is lucky enough to win them.

No one was able to match all six numbers for either the Mega Millions or Powerball drawings this week. As both jackpots sit near the $400 million mark for the upcoming draws on Friday and Saturday, someone is going to be stepping into 2021 with wads full of cash and a massive celebration to match.

The jackpots for the two games simultaneously swelled this high back in 2018, where they added up to nearly $1 billion. It was only the second time in history that two US lottery games combined to reach at least $800 million.

Depending on whether someone scoops up either of the jackpots this weekend, it could be the third time.

The Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots are also the first- and second-highest jackpots in the world right now, respectively. The third-largest jackpot in the world is Italy's SuperEnalotto jackpot valued at €84.9 million (US$104.41 million).

Mega Millions began growing Sept. 18 as a $20 million jackpot and has rolled 30 times. Prior to a rule change brought on by slowing sales, jackpots used to start at $40 million. Before Tuesday's drawing, the Mega Millions jackpot sat at $376 million. Without a winner, the jackpot has rolled to $401 million for the next drawing on Fri., Jan. 1, 2021 at 11:00 pm EST with a cash value of $305.4 million.

Meanwhile, the Powerball jackpot started growing Sept. 19 as a $20 million jackpot and has also rolled 30 times. Just like Mega Millions, the game had its $40 million starting jackpots reduced to $20 million as result of the coronavirus' impact on sales. Prior to the drawing on Wednesday, Powerball boasted an equally mouthwatering $363 million jackpot and has risen to $384 million with a $295.4 million cash value after no one won, which will be up for grabs on Sat., Jan. 2, 2021 at 10:59 pm EST.

The cash values for the two jackpots are the real stars of the show, as they rank as the 18th- and 19th-largest US lottery jackpot cash values of all time. The annuity jackpots rank as 28th-largest in US lottery history for Mega Millions, while the upcoming Powerball annuity jackpot is the 33rd-largest of all time.

See below for the top-25 rankings for both annuity and cash values.

The last time the Mega Millions jackpot surpassed the $400 million mark was in June of this year, which was claimed by an anonymous couple from Glendale, Arizona. It was the largest payout to any Arizona Lottery player ever and was the 11th-largest Mega Millions jackpot in history.

The Powerball jackpot last reached an amount this big back in January, when it climbed to $394 million and was finally won by Florida resident Sheryll Goedert. The cash value of $276.5 million was the 20th-largest lottery jackpot cash value ever claimed in the United States at the time it was won.

Mega Millions and Powerball tickets are $2 per play and can be purchased at lottery retailers in 44 states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. (Mega Millions is not offered in Puerto Rico.)

Players looking for a nearby lottery retailer — or that out-of-the-way retailer with a smaller line — 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.

Mega Millions players can multiply prizes with the Megaplier option for an additional $1 per play. In several (but not all) states, Mega Millions also offers a new optional $3 wager called Just the Jackpot that allows players to receive two entries for a chance to win the game's jackpot prize only.

Powerball players can multiply prizes with the Power Play option for an additional $1 per play.

Top 25 United States lottery jackpots of all time

The following list actually shows the top 33 lottery jackpots of all time in order to include this week's Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots, which currently stand as the 28th- and 33rd-largest lottery jackpots of all time in the United States.

  1. Powerball: $1.5864 billion, Jan. 13, 2016 (19 rollovers, starting at $40 million) - California, Florida, Tennessee
  2. Mega Millions: $1.537 billion, Oct. 23, 2018 (25 rollovers, starting at $40 million) - South Carolina
  3. Powerball: $768.4 million, Mar. 27, 2019 (25 rollovers, starting at $40 million) - Wisconsin
  4. Powerball: $758.7 million, Aug. 23, 2017 (20 rollovers, starting at $40 million) - Massachusetts
  5. Powerball: $687.8 million, Oct. 27, 2018 (21 rollovers, starting at $40 million) - Iowa, New York
  6. Mega Millions: $656 million, Mar. 30, 2012 (18 rollovers, starting at $12 million) - Illinois, Kansas, Maryland
  7. Mega Millions: $636 million, Dec. 17, 2013 (21 rollovers, starting at $12 million) - California, Georgia
  8. Powerball: $590.5 million, May 18, 2013 (13 rollovers, starting at $40 million) - Florida
  9. Powerball: $587.5 million, Nov. 28, 2012 (15 rollovers, starting at $40 million) - Arizona, Missouri
  10. Powerball: $564.1 million, Feb. 11, 2015 (20 rollovers, starting at $40 million) - North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Texas
  11. Powerball: $559.7 million, Jan. 6, 2018 (20 rollovers, starting at $40 million) - New Hampshire
  12. Mega Millions: $543 million, Jul. 24, 2018 (22 rollovers, starting at $40 million) - California
  13. Mega Millions: $536 million, Jul. 8, 2016 (34 rollovers, starting at $15 million) - Indiana
  14. Mega Millions: $533 million, Mar. 30, 2018 (23 rollovers, starting at $40 million) - New Jersey
  15. Mega Millions: $522 million, Jun. 7, 2019 (24 rollovers, starting at $40 million) - California
  16. Powerball: $487 million, Jul. 30, 2016 (23 rollovers, starting at $40 million) - New Hampshire
  17. Powerball: $456.7 million, Mar. 17, 2018 (19 rollovers, starting at $15 million) - Pennsylvania
  18. Mega Millions: $451 million, Jan. 5, 2018 (23 rollovers, starting at $15 million) - Florida
  19. Powerball: $448.4 million, Aug. 7, 2013 (12 rollovers, starting at $40 million) - Minnesota, New Jersey (2)
  20. Powerball: $447.8 million, Jun. 10, 2017 (19 rollovers, starting at $40 million) - California
  21. Powerball: $435.3 million, Feb. 22, 2017 (18 rollovers, starting at $40 million) - Indiana
  22. Powerball: $429.6 million, May 7, 2016 (18 rollovers, starting at $40 million) - New Jersey
  23. Powerball: $425.3 million, Feb. 19, 2014 (15 rollovers, starting at $40 million) - California
  24. Mega Millions: $425 million, Jan. 1, 2019 (19 rollovers, starting at $40 million) - New York
  25. Powerball: $420.9 million, Nov. 26, 2016 (19 rollovers, starting at $10 million) - Tennessee
  26. Mega Millions: $414 million, Jun. 9, 2020 (33 rollovers, starting at $40 million) - Arizona
  27. Mega Millions: $414 million, Mar. 18, 2014 (20 rollovers, starting at $15 million) - Florida, Maryland
  28. Mega Millions: $401 million, Jan. 1, 2021 (30 rollovers, starting at $20 million) - Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  29. Powerball: $399.4 million, Sep. 18, 2013 (11 rollovers, starting at $40 million) - South Carolina
  30. Powerball: $396.9 million, Jan. 29, 2020 (24 rollovers, starting at $40 million) - Florida
  31. Mega Millions: $393 million, Aug. 11, 2017 (29 rollovers, starting at $15 million) - Illinois
  32. Mega Millions: $390 million, Mar. 6, 2007 (15 rollovers, starting at $12 million) - Georgia, New Jersey
  33. Powerball: $384 million, Jan. 2, 2021 (30 rollovers, starting at $20 million) - Preliminary estimate, not won yet

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

  • Powerball: 16
  • Mega Millions: 9

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 values, the upcoming Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots respectively rank as the 18th- and 19th-largest cash values in U.S. history.

  1. Powerball: $983.5 million cash, Jan. 13, 2016 ($1.5864 billion annuity) - California, Florida, Tennessee
  2. Mega Millions: $877.8 million cash, Oct. 23, 2018 ($1.537 billion annuity) - South Carolina
  3. Powerball: $480.5 million cash, Aug. 23, 2017 ($758.7 million annuity) - Massachusetts
  4. Powerball: $476.9 million cash, Mar. 27, 2019 ($768.4 million annuity) - Wisconsin
  5. Mega Millions: $471 million cash, Mar. 30, 2012 ($656 million annuity) - Illinois, Kansas, Maryland
  6. Powerball: $396.2 million cash, Oct. 27, 2018 ($687.8 million annuity) - Iowa, New York
  7. Powerball: $384.7 million cash, Nov. 28, 2012 ($587.5 million annuity) - Arizona, Missouri
  8. Powerball: $381.1 million cash, Feb. 11, 2015 ($564.1 million annuity) - North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Texas
  9. Mega Millions: $378 million cash, Jul. 8, 2016 ($536 million annuity) - Indiana
  10. Powerball: $370.9 million cash, May 18, 2013 ($590.5 million annuity) - Florida
  11. Powerball: $352 million cash, Jan. 6, 2018 ($559.7 million annuity) - New Hampshire
  12. Mega Millions: $347.6 million cash, Dec. 17, 2013 ($636 million annuity) - California, Georgia
  13. Mega Millions: $340 million cash, Jun. 7, 2019 ($522 million annuity) - California
  14. Powerball: $336.8 million cash, Jul. 30, 2016 ($487 million annuity) - New Hampshire
  15. Mega Millions: $324 million cash, Mar. 30, 2018 ($533 million annuity) - New Jersey
  16. Mega Millions: $320.5 million cash, Jul. 24, 2018 ($543 million annuity) - California
  17. Mega Millions: $319.9 million cash, Jun. 9, 2020 ($414 million annuity) - Arizona
  18. Mega Millions: $305.4 million cash, Jan. 1, 2021 ($401 million annuity) - Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  19. Powerball: $295.4 million cash, Jan. 2, 2021 ($384 million annuity) - Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  20. Powerball: $284 million cash, May 7, 2016 ($429.6 million annuity) - New Jersey
  21. Mega Millions: $281.9 million cash, Jan. 5, 2018 ($451 million annuity) - Florida
  22. Powerball: $279.1 million cash, Jun. 10, 2017 ($447.8 million annuity) - California
  23. Powerball: $276.5 million cash, Jan. 29, 2020 ($396.9 million annuity) - Florida
  24. Powerball: $273.9 million cash, Mar. 17, 2018 ($456.7 million annuity) - Pennsylvania
  25. Powerball: $263.5 million cash, Feb. 22, 2017 ($435.3 million annuity) - Indiana
  26. Powerball: $258.2 million cash, Aug. 7, 2013 ($448.4 million annuity) - Minnesota, New Jersey (2)

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

  • Powerball: 15
  • Mega Millions: 10

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14 comments. Last comment 22 days ago by hearsetrax.
Page 1 of 1
Avatar
Simpsonville
United States
Member #163184
January 22, 2015
2402 Posts
Offline

After Todd's feel good lottery stories, this is always my second favorite.   I call it the lottery hall of fame where it shows standings for the lotteries over time.

 

Happy New Year to all LP Members and good riddance to 2020, hindsight is not necessarily a good thing this time around.

 

I'm still shooting for secondary prize!

    Avatar
    Chasing $ Millions.
    White Shores- California
    United States
    Member #136473
    December 12, 2012
    6494 Posts
    Offline

    PartyNot Greedy, either one will do! Party

     * Voice of Reason *   

     

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

      TheMeatman2005's avatar - lightening
      Brooklyn, NY
      United States
      Member #169719
      October 29, 2015
      1512 Posts
      Offline

      I have my one ticket for each game (with multiplier).

      Good luck to all as well as stay safe and healthy for the upcoming new year.

      2020Smash   2021See Ya!

      The Meatman 🥩🍗🍔🍖🍤🌭

      “The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it in your back pocket.” Will Rogers

      Winning happens in a flash, Like A Bolt Of Lightning!  Patriot

        Avatar
        725 5th Av,New York,NY 10022
        United States
        Member #197346
        April 9, 2019
        5653 Posts
        Offline

        No.11 and No.18

        Jan 2018

        its a repeat in Jan 2021

        Let's have trial by combat 😆

          Avatar
          Maryland
          United States
          Member #162429
          January 2, 2015
          2416 Posts
          Offline

          Both appear to be 'ROLLING' very slowly... jackpot fatigue?

          Money WON is twice as good as money earned Thumbs Up

            Avatar
            Chattanooga, TN
            United States
            Member #74192
            May 5, 2009
            100 Posts
            Offline

            Watching these jackpots roll is like watching paint dry...

              Avatar
              Blue Bell,Pa
              United States
              Member #156243
              June 12, 2014
              33 Posts
              Offline

              Nobody won mega millions. It went up to 432 million.

                sully16's avatar - sharan
                25
                Dr.President Elect
                Michigan
                United States
                Member #81738
                October 28, 2009
                80230 Posts
                Offline

                Feeling lucky, Hyper

                Coffee

                  Avatar
                  Blue Bell,Pa
                  United States
                  Member #156243
                  June 12, 2014
                  33 Posts
                  Offline

                  No one won the Powerball, now it's 410 million. I hope the jackpot keeps getting bigger!

                    Avatar
                    Chasing $ Millions.
                    White Shores- California
                    United States
                    Member #136473
                    December 12, 2012
                    6494 Posts
                    Offline

                    l don't know about * you or anyone else,  but l love the territory these jackpots are venturing into in 2021. Now go ahead and ding me for saying that...Big Smile

                     * Voice of Reason *   

                     

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

                      hearsetrax's avatar - alien on_computer.jpg

                      United States
                      Member #52343
                      May 21, 2007
                      3338 Posts
                      Offline

                      ought to prove an interesting way to start 2021 😼

                        Avatar

                        United States
                        Member #135800
                        November 29, 2012
                        417 Posts
                        Offline

                        Please dear Jesus let me win both jackpots

                          HoLeeKau's avatar - 40827 jpg?1576607320
                          Idaho
                          United States
                          Member #94279
                          July 17, 2010
                          2350 Posts
                          Offline

                          Please dear Jesus let me win both jackpots

                          That would be fun, but holy dang it would attract a lot of attention.  Since my state isn't anonymous yet, I'll settle for winning one.

                            hearsetrax's avatar - alien on_computer.jpg

                            United States
                            Member #52343
                            May 21, 2007
                            3338 Posts
                            Offline

                            Please dear Jesus let me win both jackpots

                            oh the fun rumors that would pop up and trouble one could stir up,

                            if that were to happen in an Anonymous State