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Next up: $730M Powerball prize after no Mega Millions winner

UPDATED: Wed., Jan. 20, 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 — Thanks to math and bad luck, lottery players will have another shot at a giant jackpot Wednesday night as a $730 million Powerball prize is on the line.

The Powerball jackpot is the fifth-largest ever, and it will come only a day after nobody won the even-larger Mega Millions prize, which now stands at $970 million.

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 either of the jackpots since mid-September, allowing the prizes to grow steadily for months. Such a long stretch without a winner is rare but also reflects the incredibly small odds of winning — one in 292.2 million for Powerball and one in 302.5 million for Mega Millions.

Maryland lottery spokeswoman Carole Gentry said Tuesday night’s Mega Millions drawing saw $260 million in sales, resulting in 36% of all possible number combinations being covered.

The prizes listed are for winners who choose an annuity option, paid over 30 years. Most winners opt for cash prizes, which for Mega Millions would be $716.3 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.

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