Mega Millions Approaches Record Territory, Friday Jackpot Estimated at $480M

Posted on: July 13, 2022, 10:12h. 

Last updated on: July 13, 2022, 10:40h.

The Mega Millions draw this Friday, July 15, will feature a jackpot worth an estimated $480 million ($276 million cash value).

Mega Millions jackpot lottery odds
A person inspects their Mega Millions numbers in March 2012. No Mega Millions tickets has matched all six numbers since mid-April, leading to a $480 million estimated jackpot for this week’s July 15 draw. (Image: AP)

At nearly half of a billion dollars, this week’s draw is expected to be one of the interstate lottery game’s 10 largest jackpots in Mega Millions history. The July 15 jackpot, lottery officials say, will be the 10th largest prize in the 20-year history of the game.

No ticket since the April 15 draw has matched all five white balls and the gold Mega Ball. But that isn’t to say there haven’t been plenty of winners.

During last night’s Mega Millions drawing with an advertised $440 million jackpot, a total of 1,197,065 tickets won at least their money back. The prizes ranged from $2 to $1 million, with one lucky winner matching all five white balls for the seven-figure win.

Another 38 tickets matched four white balls plus the Mega Ball to win the game’s third largest prize of $10,000. Of those tickets, five had purchased the $1 add-on Megaplier — which was 2x last night, to double their wins to $20,000 each.

The July 15 Mega Millions draw will be held Friday at 11 pm ET. The game offers nine ways to win, with prizes ranging from $2 to the jackpot.

Winners, But No Jackpots

Mega Millions debuted in August 1996 as the “Big Game,” with only six participating states: Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Virginia. The interstate lottery product has since drastically expanded, with today, Mega Millions is being played in 45 US states, plus DC and the US Virgin Islands.

The lottery says since the April 15 jackpot, which was just $20 million and won in Tennessee, there have been more than 14.1 million Mega Millions winning tickets. The majority of those prizes have, of course, been the minimum $2 prize.

Someone, at some point, will eventually match all six numbers to claim the life-changing jackpot. If that doesn’t happen on Friday night, the rollover will likely move the jackpot up the Mega Millions top 10 rankings.

Top 10 Mega Millions Jackpots

  1. $1.537B 10/23/2018 — 1-SC
  2. $1.05B 1/22/2021 — 1-MI
  3. $656M 3/30/2012  —  3-IL, KS, MD
  4. $648M 12/17/2013 — 2-CA, GA
  5. $543M 7/24/2018 — 1-CA
  6. $536M 7/8/2016 — 1-IN
  7. $533M 3/30/2018 — 1-NJ
  8. $522M 6/7/2019 — 1-CA
  9. $516M 5/21//2021 — 1-PA
  10. $480M (est.) 7/15/2022 ?

Prize Breakdown

If a single ticket wins the Mega Millions jackpot in two days, the lucky winner won’t ever see the full $480 million. Instead, the individual will give a considerable portion of the haul to the federal government, and potentially to their home state.

If the winner opts for the full $480 million prize paid out over a 30-year annuity, the winner would net $10.117 million a year after paying the federal government approximately $5.88 million annually in taxes. State taxes could further lower the take-home amount.

If the winner goes for the one-time lump cash option, which is typically the preferred payment route for major lottery winners, the person would stand to receive $276 million. But after the feds take its effective 37% cut, the prize would be reduced to $173.9 million.

States tax lottery winnings in varying ways. Nine states do not tax lottery wins at all: California, Delaware, Florida, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming.

Others take a large cut, like Maryland’s 8.95% lottery tax. DC levies the highest lottery tax at 10.75%.