Mega Millions saw its jackpot climb again after a sixth consecutive drawing with no big winner Tuesday. Friday’s drawing will now carry a jackpot of $66 million to a winner who chooses the annuity option, which divides the Mega Millions jackpot payout into 30 annual payments.
Though the Mega Millions jackpot is on the way up, ticket sales remained basically level. However, sales dipped slightly from Saturday’s drawing with 17,142,990 tickets sold for Tuesday’s game. This was down by 206,543 from Saturday’s game.
No Mega Millions drawing with a jackpot below $100 million has sold more than 20 million tickets since February 4 when an advertised $94 million jackpot attracted 20,548,019 ticket sales. But as recently as April 25, a jackpot under $60 million cracked the 18 million sales mark. In that Mega Millions drawing, a $59 million jackpot drew 18,482,340 ticket sales.
Tuesday’s jackpot would have been $55 million — but not only were there no winners of the big jackpot, no one matched the first five Mega Millions numbers, but not the Mega Ball, to claim the $1 million second prize.
With no jackpot or “Match 5” winners, the Tuesday Mega Millions drawing saw a relatively low $2,326,014 in prize money distributed among 1,290,308 winning tickets.
There were 29 third-prize winners, which means tickets that matched four of the first five Mega Millions numbers plus the Mega Ball. Those tickets are good for $5,000 each, except for the tickets purchased in California. Under that state’s pari-mutuel payout system, prize money varies from drawing to drawing.
The seven third-prize winners in California will take home, before taxes, just $2,521 from the Tuesday Mega Millions drawing.
The chances of hitting the “4+1” third prize are one in 739,688, compared to one in 18,492,204 for the “Match 5” second prize — and one in a seemingly insurmountable 258,890,850 for the Mega Millions jackpot.
Most winning tickets in any Mega Millions drawing are good for a single dollar — which is, in effect, a free ticket — as were 857,166 tickets on Tuesday, which matched only the Mega Ball and nothing else. That’s two-thirds of all of the winning tickets sold.
But winning a buck is better than not winning a buck, so check your Mega Millions tickets against the following numbers, drawn at 10:59 pm in Atlanta, Georgia, to see if your ticket can be cashed in for any amount of money.
2 — 10 — 24 — 26 — 74 Mega Ball 7
Friday’s Mega Millions jackpot will be worth $37 million to a winner who takes the cash in one, immediate payment.