The current Mega Millions record jackpot – a $656 million prize on March 30, 2012 – may very well be history by next weeks drawing. No ticket matched all six numbers drawn Friday night – the white balls 4, 24, 46, 61 and 70, plus the gold Mega Ball 7. Tuesday’s, October 16 estimated jackpot is a whopping $654 million ($372.6 million cash). That amount would be the second-largest prize in the history of the game, and enthusiasm about the jackpot is escalating.
“It’s so exciting for our players, and all of us, to see the Mega Millions jackpot getting so close to an all-time record level,” said Gordon Medenica, Lead Director of the Mega Millions Consortium and Director of Maryland Lottery and Gaming. “With a little luck, we may still break that record by Tuesday. And there’s even more fun with $862 million in combined jackpots for Mega Millions and Powerball. Jackpot fever is definitely sweeping the country!”
The jackpot has been rolling since it was last won on July 24, when a California office pool of 11 co-workers shared $543 million, the largest prize ever won on a single ticket in the game. Three other Mega Millions jackpots have been won this year – $451 million on January 5 (Florida), $533 million on March 30 (New Jersey), and $142 million on May 4 (Ohio).
While the jackpot rolls, the game continues to produce winners at other prize levels. One ticket, sold in Arkansas, matched the five white balls Friday night to win the game’s second prize. Because that ticket included the optional Megaplier (available in most states for an extra $1 purchase), it is worth $3 million instead of the standard $1 million after the 3x Megaplier was drawn. Fifty-five tickets matched four white balls plus the Mega Ball for the $10,000 third prize; seven of those are actually worth $30,000 each because they included the optional Megaplier.
In total, there were 2,651,183 winning tickets at all prize levels in the October 12 drawing. In this current jackpot run, there have been more than 17.5 million winning tickets at all prize levels, including 25 worth $1 million or more.