Someone could be getting one incredible Christmas gift this year — more than a quarter of a billion dollars.
The Mega Millions lottery jackpot will reach $321 million for the Christmas Day drawing, with a long streak of no winners tipping the jackpot back to enormous levels. As USA Today noted, the drawing on Friday night found no jackpot winners, leading to a big potential prize for Christmas Day.
Whatever happens on Tuesday, there will be one thing for certain — 2018 was not a prolific year for Mega Millions winners. There have been only five winners this year, though that does include the record-breaking $1.537 billion jackpot that went to a lucky winner in South Carolina back in October.
The Mega Millions lottery went from July until October without a winner, and now it has been another two months without anyone claiming the top prize. If no one claims the prize on Christmas Day, the jackpot would continue to grow.
That has been the intention of the Mega Millions lottery. Like the Powerball drawing, officials for Mega Millions instituted new rules that added more balls in the drawing, giving it higher odds but ensuring higher jackpots. Lottery officials said that prompts more giant jackpots like the one in October and the one that has been growing now, which generate more attention and higher sales.
That certainly worked in October, with hundreds of millions of dollars worth of sales as the lottery reached its peak. The final drawing for $1.537 billion also drew millions of viewers hoping to take home the enormous prize.
Though there were five jackpot-winning tickets in 2018, there have only been four actual winners — so far. The winner of the $1.537 billion jackpot in October has still not stepped forward to claim their prize. As USA Today noted, the lucky winner could still be getting their ducks in a row and still has about four months left to claim it.
“It’s been nearly three weeks since that drawing and state lottery officials tell News19 there’s no word on the winner yet,” the report noted.
“Shortly after the drawing, they urged the potential winner to sign the ticket, put it in a safe location and seek council from a financial planner or lawyer.”
“The winner has 180 days from the drawing to come forward. Their time doesn’t run out until April 21st.”
If anyone should happen to win the Mega Millions jackpot on Christmas Day, they would be able to claim a cash prize of $193 million.