Lottery Jackpot Approaches $1 Billion


Both major national lottery jackpots continued their march upward after drawings Monday and Tuesday, with Mega Millions inching tantalizingly close to an estimated $1 billion top prize. Only five previous Mega Millions jackpots have hit that mark.

The Powerball jackpot rolled over again on Monday night and now stands at an estimated $687 million, with its next drawing tonight (Wednesday, March 20).

  • Mega Millions: $977 million estimated jackpot, next drawing Friday, March 22.

  • Powerball: $687 million estimated jackpot, next drawing Wednesday, March 20.

If either or both continue to elude a winner in upcoming draws, 2024 could see its first billion-dollar-plus jackpot, a mark that has become more common in recent years. Powerball had a $1.765 billion jackpot (won by a single ticket) as recently as October 2023.

Powerball and Mega Millions tickets are sold for $2 apiece in 45 U.S. states, as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

  • To play Mega Millions, pick five numbers between 1 and 70, and a sixth number between 1 and 25. If you don’t want to pick the numbers yourself, you can get a set of numbers generated for you.

  • To play Powerball, pick five numbers between 1 and 69 and a Powerball number from 1 to 26 (or have them randomly generated).

How much is the Mega Millions jackpot?

The current jackpot is estimated at $977 million.

Winners can opt to take their winnings in the form of an annuity or as a single lump sum, known as the cash option. The cash option for the current jackpot is estimated at $461 million.

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By taking the annuity option, the winner would get the full jackpot advertised by Mega Millions, but it would be spread out in payments over 30 years.

No matter how lucky you are, you won’t get around paying taxes on a lottery jackpot. After mandatory federal income tax withholding, you’d get roughly $350 million, if you took the cash option. How much more you’d pay come tax time depends on whether you take where you bought the ticket — and where you live. To prepare, make sure you know the ins and outs of how the lottery works.

When is the next Mega Millions drawing?

  • The winning numbers will be drawn Friday, March 22 at 11 p.m. Eastern Time.

  • If there’s still no jackpot winner, the grand prize will continue to grow.

  • The odds of winning the jackpot are roughly 1 in 303 million.

How much is the next Powerball jackpot?

The current jackpot is estimated at $687 million.

Like Mega Millions, winners of Powerball can choose between an annuity that pays out over 30 years or a single lump sum. The cash option for the current jackpot is $327.3 million. After mandatory federal taxes, the holder of a single winning ticket would keep about $248.7 million, minus any state taxes.

When is the next Powerball drawing?

  • The winning numbers will be drawn Wednesday, March 20 at 11 p.m. Eastern Time.

  • If there’s still no jackpot winner, the grand prize will continue to grow.

  • The odds of winning the jackpot are roughly 1 in 292 million.

The jackpot isn’t the only way to win. Both games have prizes for ticket holders whose chosen numbers match the drawing in a variety of combinations.

10 largest lottery jackpots

  • $2.04 billion (Powerball, Nov. 8, 2022 — one winning ticket).

  • $1.765 billion (Powerball, Oct. 11, 2023 — one winning ticket).

  • $1.586 billion (Powerball, Jan. 13, 2016 — three winning tickets).

  • $1.58 billion (Mega Millions, Aug. 8, 2023 — one winning ticket).

  • $1.537 billion (Mega Millions, Oct. 23, 2018 — one winning ticket).

  • $1.348 billion (Mega Millions, Jan. 13, 2023 — one winning ticket).

  • $1.337 billion (Mega Millions, July 29, 2022 — one winning ticket).

  • $1.08 billion (Powerball, July 19, 2023 — one winning ticket).

  • $1.05 billion (Mega Millions, Jan. 22, 2021 — one winning ticket).

  • $977 million (Mega Millions, pending).



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