The Mega Millions jackpot has crossed the $1 billion mark. The grand prize for Friday night’s draw will be an estimated $1.02 billion, lottery officials said, although that will certainly increase as more tickets are purchased as the draw approaches.
The cash option for this pot of gold would be $602.5 million.
No winning tickets were sold for Tuesday night’s draw, which had an $830 million jackpot. It would have been the country’s fourth-biggest lottery prize of all time and the third-biggest Mega Millions prize.
The winning numbers for Tuesday night’s draw were: 29, 63, 66, 7, 60 and a “Mega Ball” of 15.
“It takes a long time for this kind of jackpot to go that high, so we’re thrilled,” Mega Millions spokeswoman Maria Kilbane told CBS News.
In this case, 29 consecutive draws without a jackpot winner. No one has matched all six numbers in the game since April 15.
The lottery’s biggest payday was awon in 2016.
People’s rush to find out if there were any winners resulted in “unprecedented” traffic to Mega Millions website, Kilbane said in a statement. Numerous attempts to access the site resulted in error messages before it was determined that there were no Grand Prize winners.
Kilbane said traffic dipped once the results of Tuesday night’s draw were released, but there were 62 million attempts to reach the site over a 24-hour period.
This year has seen: a $426 million pot in California in January, a $128 million ticket in New York in March and a $110 million prize in Minnesota in April, according to Mega Millions.
The odds of winning the jackpot are extremely low. You have a better chance of getting a smaller win, like winning $1 million by matching five regular numbers but missing the Mega Ball. But even that is one in 12.6 million.
To put those into perspective, your chance of dying in a car accident – something to consider when heading to the mini-market for a lottery ticket – is around one in 101 over a lifetime, according to the nonprofit National Safety Council.
How much is the payout after tax?
Meanwhile, even if you beat the odds somehow, you won’t get $830 million. First is the amount for winners who choose the annuity option, paid over 30 annual installments. But the winners usually opt for cash, which for this draw would bring in around $488 million.
“Some people like the idea of having something consistent over time,” but in recent years “almost everyone has chosen the cash option price,” Kilbane said.
And then there are the federal taxes, which she says would leave gains of $351 million. State taxes may also reduce this amount depending on where the winner lives. Another fortune, but a smaller fortune.
It also doesn’t take into account the possibility of someone else matching the winning numbers, which means they would have to divide even those smaller wins in half or more, depending on how many lucky players there are.
Mega Millions is played in 45 states as well as Washington, DC and the US Virgin Islands. The game is coordinated by state lotteries.