Lottery players can watch the Mega Millions drawing live online Friday, as the multi-state lottery game puts a whopping $100 million jackpot up for grabs. Ticket buyers for the February 20 Mega Millions drawing can see streaming video of the drawing and find out right away if they’ve won the life-changing cash prize.
Last week, the United States’ other nationwide lottery game, Powerball, gave away a staggering $564 million jackpot — the fifth largest in U.S. history. While Friday’s $100 million Mega Millions jackpot doesn’t quite compare, nonetheless, the prospect of a nine-figure payout should be enough to generate an uptick in sales after just 19.9 million tickets were sold for Tuesday’s $88 million Mega Millions drawing.
Friday’s drawing, which will be streamed live online from the studios of WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia, will be the 10th in a row without a jackpot winner for Mega Millions, after a $270 million jackpot was won by a single lottery player in Illinois on January 16.
But that new multimillionaire has yet to come forward and claim the prize.
Mega Millions features longer odds than Powerball, with approximately 259 million total number combinations — only one of which can win the jackpot. The Powerball game allows for slightly more than 175 million combinations.
But because Powerball tickets sell for $2, compared to just a buck for Mega Millions — and Powerball starts at a minimum of $40 million, while Mega Millions begins each run at just $15 million — Mega Millions builds its jackpot totals more slowly than Powerball. The last Powerball run took only seven drawings without a winner to hit the $100 million mark.
But Mega Millions is already hitting at least $100 million for the second time in 2015. Last year, Mega Millions opened 2014 with a lengthy winnerless run that culminated in a $400 million jackpot on March 18. After that, the Mega Millions lottery did not reach $100 million again until May 9, and after that, saw just three runs that reached or exceeded $100 million for the entire remainder of the calendar year.
Powerball in 2014 saw seven runs that topped $100 million, and is now offering a $50 million jackpot for Saturday’s drawing.
Friday’s $100 million Mega Millions jackpot is the annuity value of the top prize, the amount if a winner chooses to have the cash paid in 30 annual installments. The single-payment cash value of Friday’s Mega Millions jackpot is estimated at $64 million, before taxes.
Return to this page at 10:59 Eastern time on Friday, February 20, to watch live online streaming video of the $100 million Mega Millions drawing, or access the video via Livestream by clicking on this link.
[Image: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]