Mega Millions Jackpot Hasn’t Been Won Since April, Purse Soars to 0M
The Mega Millions jackpot continues to climb, as no ticket has matched all six numbers since April 15, when a lucky individual in Tennessee won a $20 million prize.
Since the April 15 drawing, Mega Millions has sold tens of millions of $2 tickets, all of which have failed to hit the five white balls and gold Mega Ball. It’s not entirely unsurprising that none of the tickets did, as the odds of a ticket matching all six numbers are just one in 302.6 million.
With no tickets hitting the June 28 numbers of 7-12-21-43-55 and Mega Ball 11, the jackpot rolls over for Friday’s draw. Lottery officials estimate the July 1 jackpot at $360 million.
Should a winner match all six numbers tomorrow, they will have the option of collecting the full $360 million through an annuitized 29-year payment schedule, or taking a one-time lump sum of $199.3 million. Both payouts are before federal and state taxes are withdrawn.
Play Increases with Jackpots
Lottery officials for the nation’s two most popular games — Mega Millions and Powerball — did away with guaranteed minimum jackpots amid the pandemic. With many lottery retailers closed in 2020 and players confined to their homes, lottery sales diminished during the COVID-19 hysteria.
Along with guaranteed minimums, the two interstate lottery games also dropped guaranteed jackpot increases between draws. Post-pandemic, however, play has returned to top 2019 revenue.
Lottery jackpots have been soaring over the past 12-plus months. And lottery sales typically surge when accompanied by newsworthy jackpots.
In April, an Arizona Powerball player won a life-changing $473.1 million jackpot. The hit ranked among the top 20 largest lottery jackpots ever won in the United States.
Most players are well aware that they’re likelier to be struck and killed by falling debris from an airplane than hitting all six Mega Millions numbers. Economists have long labeled the lottery as a tax on the poor. The French philosopher Voltaire went a step further in calling lotteries, “A tax on stupidity.”
Despite the excessively long odds, even well-educated individuals routinely test their luck with a $2 Powerball or Mega Millions play.
As soon as the numbers grow big enough, tens of millions of Americans will head to their convenience stores for a virtually nonexistent chance to strike it very, very rich,” Jeff Greenfield, a five-time Emmy winner, wrote in Politico in 2018.
Greenfield, who titled his article, “Mega Millions Is a Scam That’s Totally Worth It,” says though smaller jackpots would be life-altering sums for nearly everyone, when the jackpots inch towards that half of a billion-dollar range, the temptation is simply too overwhelming for even the most educated dreamers.
“We never see long lines and hysterical news reports when the jackpots are, say, $40 million, although for most of us — say, 99% — a $40 million prize would change our lives significantly. But once the numbers move up into the half of a billion-dollar range, the allure of the prize becomes irresistible,” Greenfield wrote.
Although your odds of winning the Mega Millions or Powerball jackpot are nearly implausible, one person did just that this week.
Powerball says a single winning ticket sold in Vermont matched all six numbers for last night’s draw. The $366.7 million hit is the first winning Powerball jackpot in Vermont history.
The winner has not yet been revealed. Vermont lottery rules do not allow individuals to remain anonymous, but they can seek to keep their identity hidden by accepting the prize through a trust.
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