What day is the Mega Millions lottery drawing?
The Mega Millions lottery is one of the biggest draws in the world and has awarded billion-dollar prizes in the past. Here's what you need to know to play.
The Mega Millions lottery is one of the biggest multi-jurisdictional lotteries in the United States and is currently available to residents of 45 states. It has a reputation as one of the most lucrative prize draws, giving out a whopping $1.537 billion jackpot in October 2018.
The twice-weekly lottery has a roll-over jackpot that gradually rises if no winning ticket is claimed. The most recent jackpot of $22 million is still yet to be claimed. Tickets cost $2 each and consist of five numbers and a separate ‘Mega Ball’. The odds of winning the top prize are 302,575,350 to 1.
When is the Mega Million lottery drawn?
The Mega Million draw is held on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11:00 pm ET.
The drawing process sees five white balls are drawn from a pot of balls from 1 to 70, while one golden Mega Ball is drawn from a set of balls from 1 to 25. In total there are nine ways to win a prize and the overall chance of winning something is 1 in 24.
The prizes on offer vary from $2 to the jackpot, which begins at $20 million. The jackpot is reserved for tickets who have all five numbers and the Mega Ball. Any tickets with all five numbers but no Golden Ball will get a flat $1 million prize. If no one wins the full jackpot the money is ‘rolled over’ to the jackpot for the next drawing.
New York ticker holder picked up $96 million last week
At the moment the top prize is comparatively low after one lucky New York resident scooped the second Mega Ball win of the year last week. On 16 February one ticket matched all six balls drawn (the white balls 1, 36, 44, 54 and 66, and the golden Mega Ball 10) to pick up a cool $96 million.
The prize money is usually distributed in the form of 30 annual payments, but the recipient can also choose to receive the whole lot in a one-off payment for less money. That time around the cash amount on offer was $68.5 million.
The size of the jackpot on offer grows with every week without a winner, and a 37-draw run without a jackpot was ended in January when a Michigan resident took home the second-largest jackpot in Mega Millions history.
After months without a winner the total stood at $1.05 billion, one of the largest prizes ever awarded on a single lottery ticket.