Lottery Players Unlucky So Far in 2024 as Mega Millions and Powerball Jackpots Mount

Posted on: March 12, 2024, 01:33h. 

Last updated on: March 12, 2024, 01:42h.

Lottery players testing their luck on Mega Millions and Powerball in the US have been rather unlucky so far in 2024.

lottery Mega Millions Powerball odds
A lottery player in Virginia purchases a Mega Millions ticket. Mega Millions and Powerball players haven’t been able to hit the two jackpots for months. (Image: Getty)

At this time last year, the Mega Millions jackpot had been won three times. The Powerball jackpot had been hit twice by the end of March 2023.

So far, 2024 has been quite a different story for players of the country’s two most popular lottery games.

No Mega Millions player has overcome the one in 302,575,350 odds of matching all five drawn white numbers and the gold Mega Ball to claim the jackpot through the first 71 days of 2024. The Powerball jackpot hasn’t been hit since January 1 when a ticket sold in Michigan won an annuitized pre-tax jackpot worth $842.4 million.

Powerball has gone 30 drawings without a ticket matching the five white numbers and red Powerball. Mega Millions’ jackpot-less streak stands at 26 drawings.

Mega Millions is played on Tuesday and Friday, while Powerball is drawn on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday.

Jackpots Worth Almost $1.3B

Tuesday night’s Mega Millions drawing comes with an advertised jackpot of $735 million. Wednesday night’s Powerball drawing has a top prize worth an estimated $559 million.

Both amounts are pretax and based on the winner opting for the full value of the jackpot paid out over a 30-year annuity. The annuities are investments based on bonds issued by the US Treasury.

The one-time lump cash options are, respectively, worth an estimated $356.7 million and $273.3 million. Again, those amounts are before federal and, possibly, state taxes.

While the jackpots have evaded players, lottery officials say the runs haven’t been fruitless.

Mega Millions officials revealed that since the jackpot was last won on December 8, there have been over 18.5 million winning tickets at all nonjackpot prize levels. Those tickets have won varying prizes from $2 to $4 million. The winners have come from 17 participating states.

Powerball reps say more than 709K tickets won some sort of prize during the game’s drawing on Monday night. The winning pool was highlighted by a lucky player in Virginia winning a $1 million prize by matching all five white numbers but not the red Powerball.

The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are slightly better than Mega Millions at one in 292,201,388.

Lottery Industry Maintains Growth 

Despite US residents having access to more gaming options than ever before, whether it be online sports betting, iGaming, or new brick-and-mortar casinos, the lottery industry has maintained its growth trajectory.

The North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries reports that US lottery sales totaled more than $113.3 billion during the 2023 fiscal year. That represented a 5% increase from the 2022 fiscal year.

Last year, the Florida Lottery sold more tickets than any other state or jurisdiction in North America. Lottery players in the Sunshine State bet approximately $9.8 billion on lottery games. Florida participates in both Mega Millions and Powerball.

The global lottery industry is forecast to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 10% through 2028. That’s according to the 2024 Lottery Global Market Report compiled by The Business Research Company, an India-based data intelligence firm.