Mega Millions Jackpot Rises As Ticket Sales Plunge, Next Drawing Worth $26M

The Mega Millions numbers turned up no jackpot winner Tuesday night, as the nationwide lottery game continues another slow climb toward what players hope will become another stratospheric jackpot sum. One week ago, a still-unknown Mega Millions player near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, won a $149 million prize.

Tuesday’s drawing was the second since that Mega Millions winner, and with no big winner, Friday’s jackpot now stands at $26 million.

But double-digit millions are not enough, it appears, to excite Mega Millions players across the country, as ticket sales for Tuesday night’s $20 million jackpot plunged by upwards of 2.4 million from Saturday’s drawing, which offered only the minimum $15 million jackpot.

In fact, the 13,925,281 Mega Millions tickets sold for Tuesday’s drawing marked the lowest sales total of the year and the lowest since the Mega Millions lottery changed format on October 22 of last year, in a move that made the odds of winning longer but, lottery officials hoped, would result in bigger jackpots and more excitement — and ticket sales — for the 43-state game.

The last time a lower number of tickets was sold for a single Mega Millions drawing was 10 months ago, on July 30, 2013, when a $12 million minimum jackpot garnered just 13,780,079 sales.

Under the game’s new format, the minimum Mega Millions jackpot is now $15 million.

Despite the low interest and lack of a jackpot winner, there were still a couple of new millionaires to come out of the May 27 Mega Millions drawing. One player in Texas who paid $2 for a “Megaplier” ticket matched the first five numbers but not the Mega Ball to walk away with a $2 million prize.

Another “Match 5” ticket, sold in New York state, brought its lucky purchaser a flat $1 million payout.

All told, $3,810,706 will be given away to ticket holders in Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing. Does any of that cash belong to you? Check your Mega Millions ticket against these numbers, drawn at 10:59 pm in Atlanta, Georgia:

16104658 Mega Ball 13

Saturday’s Mega Millions jackpot, while worth $26 million to a winner who chooses to take the cash in 30 annual installments, will be good for $14.9 million to a winner who, as most lottery winners do, decides to accept the winnings as a single cash payment.

After federal taxes, the Mega Millions winner, if there is one on Saturday, will be left with an estimated $11,175,000 to play around with.