Mega Millions Climbs to $750M, Fifth-Largest Lottery Jackpot in US History

Posted on: January 13, 2021, 08:52h. 

Last updated on: May 29, 2021, 10:39h.

With no Mega Millions jackpot winners Tuesday night, the interstate lottery game rolls over to an estimated $750 million. It’s now the fifth-largest jackpot in US history, and the game’s second all-time largest prize pool.

Mega Millions lottery jackpot Powerball
Mega Millions is once again living up to its name. The lottery game’s jackpot is an estimated $750 million for its draw later this week. (Image: Getty)

The January 12 Mega Millions drawing offered up the eighth-largest jackpot. But no ticket correctly picked the winning numbers of 12, 14, 26, 28, 33, and Mega Ball 9.

It’s the 34th consecutive draw without a jackpot hit. The last Mega Millions jackpot winner was a Wisconsin man who won $119 million in September. The lucky winner, Adrian Tongson of Racine, Wisconsin immediately quit his job after striking it rich.

Lottery Sales Surging

2020 was the most difficult of years. The nation was ordered to stay at home, jobs were terminated, incomes reduced, and worse yet, hundreds of thousands of lives lost. Chaos post-election has only added to the despair of many US citizens.

Americans, however, are resilient, and refuse to look backward, but forward. A sense of optimism has arrived with the ringing in of the new year, and lottery officials say that’s led to players returning to the country’s two largest games.

It’s something fun to focus on in the new year,” said Carole Gentry, a spokesperson for the Maryland Lottery.

Mega Millions’ swelling jackpot isn’t alone. Powerball’s jackpot for tonight’s drawing is an estimated $550 million. Combined, the two lottery games have $1.3 billion on the line.

It was only recently that Powerball was considering expanding internationally in order to increase ticket sales. Powerball, as well as Mega Millions, saw sales plummet during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the titanic jackpots have returned the lottery games to the front pages. Enthusiasm is back, many people feeling it’s time for a little bit of good fortune after the coronavirus year.

Riches Won Without Jackpot

Though the main focus of the lottery games are their jackpots, each draw delivers life-changing wins.

During last night’s Mega Millions, nine people won at least $1 million by matching all five white balls. And one of those doubled his prize by adding on the $1 Megaplier option.

There were 116 winners who matched four white balls, plus the Mega Ball, for $10,000. Twenty others doubled their win for $20,000.

Powerball’s January 9 draw delivered two lucky individuals $1 million each after they matched all five white balls. Fifty others won $50,000 for matching the four white balls and Powerball. Eighteen additional tickets doubled that win to $100,000 for purchasing the $1 Power Play add-on.

Approaching Records

If Mega Millions isn’t won when it’s drawn on Friday, January 15, the lottery will climb the record leaderboard.

Top 5 Largest US Lottery Jackpots

  1. $1.586 billion — Powerball — January 2016
  2. $1.537 billion — Mega Millions — October 2018
  3. $768.4 million — Powerball — March 2019
  4. $758.7 million — Powerball — August 2017
  5. $750 million (est.) — Mega Millions — January 2021