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Mega Millions jackpot jumps to $977 million

On the first day of spring, Mega Millions® accelerated its charge through March. The month has historically produced a number of big wins, but for now, the March 19 drawing led to yet another jackpot roll and the momentum continues to build.

The top prize for the next drawing on Friday, March 22, is currently estimated at $977 million ($461.0 million cash). Tantalizingly close to $1 billion, the jackpot keeps growing after no ticket matched all six numbers drawn Tuesday night – the white balls 24, 46, 49, 62 and 66, plus the gold Mega Ball 7.

It’s just the sixth time in the game’s nearly 22-year history that the jackpot has reached this level; only five jackpots exceeding $1 billion have been higher.

Since the Mega Millions jackpot was last won on December 8 with two tickets in California, 29 consecutive drawings have produced more than 23.6 million winning tickets across all non-jackpot prize tiers.

These include 37 second-tier prizes of $1 million or more, won in 19 different jurisdictions from coast to coast: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

In the March 19 drawing alone, there were a total of 2,167,646 winning tickets. Four tickets matched the five white balls to win the game’s second-tier prize; they were sold in California, Florida, Texas and Virginia. Across the country, 41 tickets matched four white balls plus the Mega Ball to win the third-tier prize. Eleven of those are worth $20,000 each because they included the optional Megaplier (available in most states with an extra $1 purchase), which was 2X Tuesday night. The other 30 third-tier winning tickets take home the standard $10,000 each.

Mega Millions is the only lottery game that has awarded five jackpots exceeding $1 billion – all in different states. South Carolina was the first in 2018, followed by Michigan in 2021, Illinois in 2022, Maine in early 2023 and Florida last August. The latter prize is the game’s current record jackpot at $1.602 billion.

Tickets are $2 each and are sold in 45 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In most jurisdictions, players can add the Megaplier for an additional $1 to multiply their non-jackpot prizes. Half of the proceeds from the sale of each Mega Millions ticket remains in the state where the ticket was sold, where the money supports designated good causes and retailer commissions.

Drawings are conducted at 11 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesdays and Fridays in Atlanta, Georgia. The overall odds of winning any Mega Millions prize are 1 in 24; the odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 302,575,350.

The top Mega Millions jackpots:

Amount Date Winning Tickets
$1.602 billion 8/8/2023 1-FL
$1.537 billion 10/23/2018 1-SC
$1.348 billion 1/13/2023 1-ME
$1.337 billion 7/29/2022 1-IL
$1.050 billion 1/22/2021 1-MI
$977 million (Est.) 3/22/2024 ?
$656 million 3/30/2012 3-IL, KS, MD
$648 million 12/17/2013 2-CA, GA
$543 million 7/24/2018 1-CA
$536 million 7/8/2016 1-IN

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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