The Mega Millions jackpot went without a winner for the fifth drawing in a row, sending the nationwide lottery’s top prize from the $15 million where it restarted on July 1 to a total of $50 million at stake in the next Mega Millions drawing, coming up Friday.
Drawings in the 43-state lottery game are held every Tuesday and Friday nights, year round, regardless of holidays.
Ticket sales for Tuesday’s drawing, in which a $41 million jackpot was at stake, totaled 14,956,531, a sales figure which brought the total Mega Millions sales for the year over the 1.3 billion mark. Out of all of those tickets, eight have hit the jackpot, matching all six Mega Millions numbers.
That rate is actually well ahead of what the odds would predict. The Mega Millions numbers could come up in 258,890,000 possible combinations. But so far in 2014, there has been one winning combination for every 164,107,988 tickets sold.
There have been seven Mega Millions jackpots won in 2014, but the $400 million prize won on March 18 had two winners who split the jackpot, for a total of eight winners this year.
On Tuesday, one ticket sold in Kentucky matched the first five Mega Millions numbers, to claim the $1 million second prize in a Mega Millions drawing that saw $2,987,160 in cash prizes won on 1,039,053 tickets that were good for at least the minimum $1 prize.
There were 28 third-prize winners Tuesday, matching four of the first five numbers plus the Mega Ball. That prize is worth $5,000 — except in California, where payoffs on most non-jackpot prizes vary from drawing to drawing due to the state’s pari-mutuel payout system.
Tuesday’s “4+1” third prize was worth only $3,045 to each of the five winning tickets sold in California.
All told, seven percent of all Mega Millions tickets sold for the Tuesday drawing were good for at least some prize money. Was yours among that select group? To find out, check your July 15 Mega Millions ticket against the following numbers, drawn at 10:59 pm in Atlanta, Georgia.
2 — 4 — 17 — 36 — 40 Mega Ball 5
Friday’s Mega Millions jackpot of $50 million would go to a winner, if there is one, who picks the annuity option, meaning that the prize money would be paid out in 30 annual checks, averaging $1,666,667 each.
A winner who wanted the money paid all at once would receive a single payment of $28.8 million, or $21.6 million after federal taxes come out.