The Mega Millions jackpot has soared past its previous record of $656 million, set on March 30, 2012, with an estimated $868 million ($494.5 million cash) up for grabs on Friday, October 19.
The incredible jackpot comes after no ticket matched all six numbers drawn Tuesday night – the white balls 3, 45, 49, 61 and 69, plus the gold Mega Ball 9.
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).
There were plenty of winners Tuesday night as players from around the country jumped into the game at record levels. A total of 4,527,495 winning tickets at all prize levels came out of the October 16 drawing.
Nine tickets matched the five white balls to win the game’s second prize. One of them, sold in Texas, included the optional Megaplier (available in most states for an extra $1 purchase) and is worth $5 million! The other eight are million-dollar tickets – two were sold in Pennsylvania and one each in California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, New Jersey and New York.
One hundred tickets matched four white balls plus the Mega Ball for the $10,000 third prize; 12 of those are actually worth $50,000 each because they included the optional Megaplier.
In this current jackpot run, there have been more than 22 million winning tickets at all prize levels, including 34 worth $1 million or more.