The Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots have soared to more than $800 million after no winners were crowned in the recent drawings, putting eye-popping totals up for grabs, according to Newsweek magazine.
The magazine called the combined total of the two nationwide lottery games one of the largest amounts ever offered. Those who want to try their turn have until Friday at 10:45 p.m. Eastern time to enter the next Mega Millions drawing, and until Saturday at 9:45 p.m. for the Powerball drawing, Newsweek noted.
On Tuesday, no one matched the Mega Millions numbers of 20, 22, 39, 54, 60, with the Mega Ball number of 18. That game’s jackpot now totals $548 million, with a cash option of $309 million, according to its website, its third largest in history.
“The jackpot has been growing since it was last won on July 24, and for the 22nd consecutive drawing there were no tickets matching all six numbers drawn,” Mega Millions said in a statement. “… The jackpot is closing in on the record prize for the game, a whopping $656 million shared by winners in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland on March 30, 2012. Just behind that was a $648 million pot won in California and Georgia on Dec. 17, 2013.”
On Wednesday, Powerball players were disappointed that no one matched its game’s numbers of 8, 23, 27, 42, 60, with the Powerball number 7. The new Powerball jackpot is now $314 million with a cash option of $179.4 million, noted its website.
According to Newsweek, the last large Powerball winner came Aug. 11, when the game paid out $245 million. Nandlall Mangal, of Staten Island, New York, walked away with that total after buying a $6 Quick Pick ticket but did not learn of his win until well after the drawing.
“I was grocery shopping and knew the Powerball jackpot was big,” Mangel told Powerball officials. “I decided that was a good time to buy my tickets. The ticket sat on my kitchen table for a week because I was out of town. I checked the website when I got back and was surprised that I won the jackpot.”
Mangel told Powerball officials that he planned to use part of his winnings to travel, admitting then he was still overwhelmed by the experience.
“I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii,” he said, adding that he purchased his tickets from the Stop & Shop convenience store in Staten Island. “Shocking. Right now I just plan to relax and see where it goes from there.”
Players are hoping to tell a similar story Friday and Saturday night.