The Mega Millions jackpot began another climb on Tuesday when no one hit all six numbers to win the minimum $15 million top prize. The jackpot now rises to an estimated $20 million for the next drawing, to be held Friday night, August 29.
The jackpot reset to its lowest possible figure after a $180 million Mega Millions jackpot was hit in the previous drawing. A single ticket purchased in the Riverside County, California, town of Calimesa was good for that life-changing sum. The win was the 9th Mega Millions jackpot hit in 2014.
But on Tuesday, lightning did not strike twice. Not only were no tickets sold matching all six Mega Millions lucky numbers, but no one ticket matched the first five numbers either, which would have been enough to claim a $1 million payout.
There were not quite 15 million tickets sold for Tuesday’s Mega Millions game — 14,914,238 to be exact — a somewhat disappointing total. Of the nine drawings this year in which the jackpot has been set at the minimum $15 million, ticket sales have exceeded 16 million six times.
Tuesday’s sales total was the third-lowest of the nine $15 million drawings so far in 2014.
The previous Saturday’s $180 million jackpot drawing attracted more than 36 million ticket sales, which was the second-highest amount of the year for a jackpot under $200 million. Out if the 68 drawings held so far in 2014, only six have carried jackpots in excess of $200 million.
Those all occurred in the run-up to a massive $400 million jackpot that was won on March 18. The Mega Millions jackpot has not come close to matching that eye-popping level since then.
Tuesday’s drawing, however, did feature 15 tickets that matched four of the first five numbers plus the separate Mega Ball number to claim the Mega Millions game’s third prize — though that third prize hardly constitutes “Mega Millions,” at just $5,000.
In California where the state’s pari-mutuel payout system for non-jackpot prizes can cause payouts to vary wildly, was pretty much in line with the other 42 Mega Millions states this time. The three California third-prize winners will claim $5,006.
Did you win anything in Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing? Check your August 26 ticket against the following numbers, drawn at 10:59 pm in Atlanta, Georgia.
29 — 31 — 51 — 60 — 64 Mega Ball 1
The cash value of Friday’s Mega Millions jackpot, to a winner who takes the whole amount in a single payment, is estimated at $12 million.