Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Day 44° Partly Cloudy
News >  Nation/World

Mega Millions jackpot now $865M; Powerball up to $730M

UPDATED: Tue., Jan. 19, 2021

Jacqueline Donahue of Hazleton, right, buys la Mega Millions lottery ticket at the Anthracite Newsstand on Public Square, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021, in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.  (Mark Moran)
Jacqueline Donahue of Hazleton, right, buys la Mega Millions lottery ticket at the Anthracite Newsstand on Public Square, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021, in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. (Mark Moran)
Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa — Lottery players will have another shot Tuesday night at the third-largest jackpot in U.S. history.

The Mega Millions top prize climbed to an estimated $865 million, the biggest jackpot in more than two years. Powerball, the other lottery game offered in most of the U.S., isn’t far behind at $730 million for a drawing Wednesday night.

It’s the first time both lottery jackpots have topped $700 million. The biggest prize was a $1.58 billion Powerball jackpot won by three people in 2016.

No one has won the Mega Millions jackpot since Sept. 15, allowing the prize to grow larger and larger over four months. The last Powerball jackpot winner was a day later, on Sept. 16.

Such big jackpots are rare, but both games rely on incredibly long odds to generate attention and increase sales. For Mega Millions, the odds of matching all six numbers is one in 302.5 million, and for Powerball it’s one in 292.2 million.

The prizes listed are for winners who choose an annuity option, paid over 30 years. Winners almost always opt for cash prizes, which for Mega Millions would be $638.8 million and $546 million for Powerball.

Those prizes also would be subject to federal taxes, and most states would take a cut as well.

Mega Millions and Powerball are both played in 45 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Powerball also is offered in Puerto Rico.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.