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Mega Millions ticket-buying frenzy forces new jackpot estimate

Jan 12, 2021, 12:21 pm

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Mega MillionsMega Millions: Mega Millions ticket-buying frenzy forces new jackpot estimateRating:

Tonight's Mega Millions jackpot is now $625 million

By Todd Northrop

Across the United States, Mega Millions lottery tickets are being sold at such a rapid pace that lottery officials were forced to raise the jackpot estimate for the second time in two days.

Just a day after the jackpot was raised to $615 million, the state lotteries have once again raised the official Mega Millions jackpot estimate for the Tue., Jan. 12, drawing to $625 million, with a lump-sum cash payout of $458.8 million.

Players are strongly urged to avoid waiting until the last minute to buy their their tickets.

The Tuesday Mega Millions winning numbers will be published at USA Mega (www.usamega.com) live as they are drawn. Lottery Post will also publish the winning numbers live — go to the state lottery results page for the drawing results.

The drawing happens Friday night at 11:00 pm Eastern Time (8:00 pm Pacific Time).

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

Players looking for the nearest official lottery retailer — or maybe just a different store without a long line — are urged to use the free Lottery Places app available for iOS, Android, and Windows. The app can find lottery stores in every Mega Millions state and can search across state lines — something even official state lotteries can't do.

Some states offer direct online sales too.  Michigan residents can bypass the store completely and buy Mega Millions tickets and Powerball tickets online.  Texas residents can buy Mega Millions tickets and Powerball tickets online too.  Oregon residents have options to buy Mega Millions tickets and Powerball tickets online as well.  Note that some of these links will only work properly for residents of the states mentioned.

Players outside the USA can try their luck with a reputable butler service.

Tuesday's jackpot started at $20 million on September 18, and is the result of 33 drawings with no jackpot winner.

When nobody won the jackpot on Friday night, the initial estimate for tonights's drawing was established at $600 million. Monday, that estimate was raised to $615 million. And now, less than 24 hours after the last increase, the state lotteries have again raised the official estimate, this time to $625 million.

Mega Millions jackpots start at $20 million and roll until the jackpot is won. (Before the 2020 pandemic, the starting jackpot amount was $40 million.)  Players win the jackpot by matching five numbers from a field of 70 numbers and one Mega Millions number from a field of 25 numbers. Drawings are conducted each Tuesday and Friday at 11:00 pm Eastern Time (8:00 Pacific Time).

Combined with Wednesday night's $550 million Powerball jackpot, players have $1.175 billion in lottery jackpots to play for this week.

All information about game rules, past drawings, statistics, news, and more can be found at USA Mega (www.usamega.com).  The USA Mega Web site provides lottery players in-depth information about the United States' two biggest multi-state lottery games, Mega Millions and Powerball.

Mega Millions is currently offered for sale in 45 states, plus Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Tickets cost $2 each.

Top 25 United States lottery jackpots of all time

Tuesday's Mega Millions jackpot currently stands as the 8th-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. 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. Mega Millions: $625 million, Jan. 12, 2021 (33 rollovers, starting at $20 million) - Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  9. Powerball: $590.5 million, May 18, 2013 (13 rollovers, starting at $40 million) - Florida
  10. Powerball: $587.5 million, Nov. 28, 2012 (15 rollovers, starting at $40 million) - Arizona, Missouri
  11. Powerball: $564.1 million, Feb. 11, 2015 (20 rollovers, starting at $40 million) - North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Texas
  12. Powerball: $559.7 million, Jan. 6, 2018 (20 rollovers, starting at $40 million) - New Hampshire
  13. Powerball: $550 million, Jan. 13, 2021 (33 rollovers, starting at $20 million) - Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  14. Mega Millions: $543 million, Jul. 24, 2018 (22 rollovers, starting at $40 million) - California
  15. Mega Millions: $536 million, Jul. 8, 2016 (34 rollovers, starting at $15 million) - Indiana
  16. Mega Millions: $533 million, Mar. 30, 2018 (23 rollovers, starting at $40 million) - New Jersey
  17. Mega Millions: $522 million, Jun. 7, 2019 (24 rollovers, starting at $40 million) - California
  18. Powerball: $487 million, Jul. 30, 2016 (23 rollovers, starting at $40 million) - New Hampshire
  19. Powerball: $456.7 million, Mar. 17, 2018 (19 rollovers, starting at $15 million) - Pennsylvania
  20. Mega Millions: $451 million, Jan. 5, 2018 (23 rollovers, starting at $15 million) - Florida
  21. Powerball: $448.4 million, Aug. 7, 2013 (12 rollovers, starting at $40 million) - Minnesota, New Jersey (2)
  22. Powerball: $447.8 million, Jun. 10, 2017 (19 rollovers, starting at $40 million) - California
  23. Powerball: $435.3 million, Feb. 22, 2017 (18 rollovers, starting at $40 million) - Indiana
  24. Powerball: $429.6 million, May 7, 2016 (18 rollovers, starting at $40 million) - New Jersey
  25. Powerball: $425.3 million, Feb. 19, 2014 (15 rollovers, starting at $40 million) - California

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 value, the upcoming Mega Millions jackpot ranks as the 6th-largest cash value 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. Mega Millions: $458.8 million cash, Jan. 12, 2021 ($625 million annuity) - Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  7. Powerball: $411.4 million cash, Jan. 13, 2021 ($550 million annuity) - Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  8. Powerball: $396.2 million cash, Oct. 27, 2018 ($687.8 million annuity) - Iowa, New York
  9. Powerball: $384.7 million cash, Nov. 28, 2012 ($587.5 million annuity) - Arizona, Missouri
  10. Powerball: $381.1 million cash, Feb. 11, 2015 ($564.1 million annuity) - North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Texas
  11. Mega Millions: $378 million cash, Jul. 8, 2016 ($536 million annuity) - Indiana
  12. Powerball: $370.9 million cash, May 18, 2013 ($590.5 million annuity) - Florida
  13. Powerball: $352 million cash, Jan. 6, 2018 ($559.7 million annuity) - New Hampshire
  14. Mega Millions: $347.6 million cash, Dec. 17, 2013 ($636 million annuity) - California, Georgia
  15. Mega Millions: $340 million cash, Jun. 7, 2019 ($522 million annuity) - California
  16. Powerball: $336.8 million cash, Jul. 30, 2016 ($487 million annuity) - New Hampshire
  17. Mega Millions: $324 million cash, Mar. 30, 2018 ($533 million annuity) - New Jersey
  18. Mega Millions: $320.5 million cash, Jul. 24, 2018 ($543 million annuity) - California
  19. Mega Millions: $319.9 million cash, Jun. 9, 2020 ($414 million annuity) - Arizona
  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

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

  • Powerball: 15
  • Mega Millions: 10

Lottery Post Staff

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20 comments. Last comment 13 days ago by fellini.
Page 1 of 2
Avatar
Chasing $ Millions.
White Shores- California
United States
Member #136473
December 12, 2012
6495 Posts
Offline

l love it, what can l say! Thanks for keeping us informed Chief!

 * Voice of Reason *   

 

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

    Avatar
    Simpsonville
    United States
    Member #163184
    January 22, 2015
    2403 Posts
    Online

    l love it, what can l say! Thanks for keeping us informed Chief!

    I Agree!   He does a wonderful job.

     

    Anybody up for $650 million tonight???   Still time.

      Todd's avatar - Cylon 200.jpg
      50
      Chief Bottle Washer
      New Jersey
      United States
      Member #1
      May 31, 2000
      26038 Posts
      Offline

      If nobody wins tonight the Friday jackpot will be $750 million.

       

      Check the State Lottery Report Card
      What grade did your lottery earn?

       

      Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
      Help eliminate computerized drawings!

        Avatar
        Simpsonville
        United States
        Member #163184
        January 22, 2015
        2403 Posts
        Online

        If nobody wins tonight the Friday jackpot will be $750 million.

        Seems like the good old lottery days are here with us however temporarily.

        With all the chaos enjoying the media drawing attention to these two lotteries, something positive.

          hearsetrax's avatar - alien on_computer.jpg

          United States
          Member #52343
          May 21, 2007
          3339 Posts
          Online

          If nobody wins tonight the Friday jackpot will be $750 million.

            Avatar
            Chasing $ Millions.
            White Shores- California
            United States
            Member #136473
            December 12, 2012
            6495 Posts
            Offline

            Seems like the good old lottery days are here with us however temporarily.

            With all the chaos enjoying the media drawing attention to these two lotteries, something positive.

            Exactly Jeff. With covid raging throughout the country & the world, this is our silver lining at the moment. Imagine if you will, you have lost a loved one close to you, friends taken ill & others who have lost their jobs, their homes. Then you win it, you could change lives in ways you couldn't imagine. Grandma was right, she said " You can't take it with you." Plus we told, " there is more happiness in giving than in receiving."

            Make it so!

             * Voice of Reason *   

             

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

              cottoneyedjoe's avatar - cuonvFT

              United States
              Member #197033
              March 28, 2019
              662 Posts
              Offline

              Thumbs Up

              ... Sooper dooper top seekrit winning numbers: 5 16 17 24 33 52 ...

                Avatar
                725 5th Av,New York,NY 10022
                United States
                Member #197346
                April 9, 2019
                5661 Posts
                Offline

                33 rollovers 

                Let's have trial by combat 😆

                  deborahl's avatar - lib
                  New Member
                  Medford
                  United States
                  Member #106240
                  February 15, 2011
                  15 Posts
                  Offline

                  I don't understand, how do they come up with the cash amount you will get if you choose the option to get it all in 1 lump sum?

                  What does it mean when it says how much tax will be taken out and then the "final tax" is more? Do they take more out than what the state tax actually is?

                    Avatar
                    Austin
                    United States
                    Member #191205
                    July 21, 2018
                    82 Posts
                    Offline

                    You're right, hope that several tickets win to help more families!  I have not been out of a job, so I can't complain if I don't win.  Too many families are on the brink.

                     

                    Just use it wisely

                      Avatar
                      DMV
                      United States
                      Member #183847
                      August 18, 2017
                      292 Posts
                      Offline

                      I don't understand, how do they come up with the cash amount you will get if you choose the option to get it all in 1 lump sum?

                      What does it mean when it says how much tax will be taken out and then the "final tax" is more? Do they take more out than what the state tax actually is?

                      I believe the jackpot (annuity amount) that's advertised is the amount of money you would receive once the lottery invests the amount and pays you over the course of 20 years. The cash amount is the value of the bonds currently. The interest rates are always changing so sometimes the cash amount could be 80% of the total annuity or it could be 60%. I feel like I read this somewhere before but you could do a Google search to fact check me.

                       

                      What does it mean when it says how much tax will be taken out and then the "final tax" is more? Do they take more out than what the state tax actually is?

                      If you take the cash option you'd still have to pay your state taxes and federal taxes ( last time I checked the highest tax bracket is about 37%) so if you're a virginia resident you'd be responsible for paying Virginia = 4%  and Federal 37%. Hope that helps

                       

                      Note: This may seem like a whole lot of money but you'd still be $200 M + richer so I'm not going to complain.

                        Avatar
                        725 5th Av,New York,NY 10022
                        United States
                        Member #197346
                        April 9, 2019
                        5661 Posts
                        Offline

                        I believe the jackpot (annuity amount) that's advertised is the amount of money you would receive once the lottery invests the amount and pays you over the course of 20 years. The cash amount is the value of the bonds currently. The interest rates are always changing so sometimes the cash amount could be 80% of the total annuity or it could be 60%. I feel like I read this somewhere before but you could do a Google search to fact check me.

                         

                        What does it mean when it says how much tax will be taken out and then the "final tax" is more? Do they take more out than what the state tax actually is?

                        If you take the cash option you'd still have to pay your state taxes and federal taxes ( last time I checked the highest tax bracket is about 37%) so if you're a virginia resident you'd be responsible for paying Virginia = 4%  and Federal 37%. Hope that helps

                         

                        Note: This may seem like a whole lot of money but you'd still be $200 M + richer so I'm not going to complain.

                        Cash amount is the cash on hand they have after they have paid all the lower prizes...From that cash amount the winner will pay federal and state taxes and then he gets the net payout but will still owe another 13% federal tax the year after because federal tax is withheld on the spot only 24 percent 

                        Let's have trial by combat 😆

                          HaveABall's avatar - rocket

                          United States
                          Member #72446
                          March 18, 2009
                          1338 Posts
                          Offline

                          I don't understand, how do they come up with the cash amount you will get if you choose the option to get it all in 1 lump sum?

                          What does it mean when it says how much tax will be taken out and then the "final tax" is more? Do they take more out than what the state tax actually is?

                          deborahl, these are great questions.  The first answer is that the cash lump sum is a figure that is derived after all the ticket vendors ticket revenue shares, employees and contractors salaries, supplies, miscellaneous expenses, advertising costs, etc. get deducted. After that, then they can figure out the projected interest earned on the remaining monies if invested at medium risk for 29 years (of course that's the annuity amount that everyone sees advertised on the big signs).

                          Your next great question concerns USA federal income tax brackets.  The current presidents administration chose to lower them 4 years ago. The highest tax rate is 37%.  When one wins over 1 million dollars, they are definitely taxed at the highest tax rate.  Yet, for some odd reason only 24% is federal income taxes are deducted by the lottery.  The winner still has to pay the huge remainder due by April the following year though.  It is a good opportunity for the winner to forget that and donate or spend money that was never really theirs though.  It's called spending without knowing and budgeting for the big picture.  Regarding the state's income taxes be assured that those are actually fully deducted by the lottery before the winner receives the check.  If you read it slowly, you will see that this website has an excellent breakdown of the two individual government taxing levels.

                          ☃️

                          Having several millions of dollars in my financial accounts means receiving several valuable services each day!

                          Disney

                            BBLL's avatar - audi r8-wallpaper-bla
                            Chicago
                            United States
                            Member #122758
                            February 7, 2012
                            202 Posts
                            Offline

                            Cash amount is the cash on hand they have after they have paid all the lower prizes...From that cash amount the winner will pay federal and state taxes and then he gets the net payout but will still owe another 13% federal tax the year after because federal tax is withheld on the spot only 24 percent 

                            Then pay another tax the next tax year around 37%