Lottery Fever Spurs Ticket Sales As Mega Millions Jackpot Approaches $1 Billion

Jeannie Matthews
October 19, 2018

The largest Powerball jackpot - and biggest in USA lottery history - was $1.586 billion, which was shared by winners in California, Florida and Tennessee in January 2016.

The estimated jackpot for Saturday's Powerball drawing has climbed to $430 million, according to the Powerball website, after there was no grand prize victor following Wednesday night's drawing.

This week's Tuesday Mega Millions drawing had an estimated jackpot of $667 million, which would have been the game's biggest grand prize in history. It's the second-largest lottery jackpot in US history.

That means the jackpot for Friday's drawing is now at least $970 million, or a cash lump sum of $548.6 million, and the number will just keep climbing until some lucky person (who will most likely not be you) hits it big.

No one has matched all six numbers and won the Mega Millions grand prize since July 24.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report. The estimated jackpot may be revised to account for higher ticket sales if officials see an uptick in activity before the next drawing, he said.

The next Mega Millions drawing will be held Tuesday at 11 p.m. ET, and tickets must be purchased by 10:00 p.m. Tuesday to be eligible.

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Saturday's jackpot will be $430 million.

The next Powerball drawing takes place 11 p.m. EDT Saturday.

Officials were anxious that the relatively smaller but more frequent prizes - a "paltry" $100 million, for instance - would result in "jackpot fatigue", which is why they tweaked the game past year, Medenica said.

Tickets are $2 and players choose five numbers from 1 to 69 and one Powerball number from 1 to 26.

The jackpot goes to a victor who matches the five numbers and the Powerball number.

For an extra $1 you can get a "Power Play" ticket in which you can increase the amount of the smaller prizes, but not the grand prize.

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