The Mega Millions jackpot shot upward by $9 million after Tuesday’s drawing proved to be the seventh consecutive one without a big winner in the nationwide lottery game. The jackpot for the next drawing, to be held Friday, July 25, now stands at $67 million.
Mega Millions has seen eight jackpot winners so far in 2014, or one for every 168 million tickets sold, approximately. That figure continues to keep this year’s game well ahead of the lengthened odds that were instituted in October of 2013. According to the math, there should be just one Mega Millions jackpot winner for every 259 million tickets sold, roughly.
Whichever way you slice it, however, the chance of any one combination of numbers hitting the Mega Millions jackpot are extremely remote. For example, according to mathematicians, the chance of hitting two consecutive holes-in-one on the golf course are better, at 156 million to one, as is your chance of being killed by a vending machine that falls over on you, which are 112 million to one.
Anyway, long odds or not, people do actually win the Mega Millions lottery. And in Tuesday’s drawing, though no one who purchased one of the 16,186,952 tickets sold hit the jackpot, one ticket purchased in Ohio was good for $1 million second-prize.
That ticket would have matched the first five Mega Millions numbers while missing the Mega Ball. But 38 more tickets matched four of those first five numbers and also hit the Mega Ball, to claim the third prize in the Mega Millions game.
But that amount is not exactly “millions” much less “mega” millions. Those lucky players each pocket $5,000 — yes, that’s correct, just four zeros on that number.
Except in California where the state’s pari-mutuel payout system causes non-jackpot prizes to vary with every drawing. The six third prize Mega Millions winners in California get to take home only $2,762 this time around — before taxes.
All told, there was $3,168,074 in prize money to be claimed by Mega Millions players in Tuesday’s drawing. Is any of that money yours? Find out by checking the numbers on your July 22 Mega Millions ticket to see if they match any combination of the following numbers, drawn at 10:59 pm in Atlanta, Georgia.
14 — 18 — 22 — 31 — 47 Mega Ball 15
While the jackpot for Friday’s Mega Millions drawing is advertised at $67 million, a winner who claims all of the money in one shot will receive the “cash value” of the jackpot, which is estimated at $39 million.