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Mega Millions $400M Jackpot Awaits Tuesday's Drawing

Tuesday, 18 Mar 2014 06:50 AM

By Michael Mullins


Mega Millions' jackpot is now $400 million, the third largest annuity in the game's history and the sixth largest lotto jackpot in U.S. history, after there were no jackpot winners in last Friday night's $353 Mega Million drawing.

A single winner in Tuesday night's drawing could expect to take home a cash option of $224 million, before taxes are applied. As life changing as such a win would be, Tuesday's Mega Millions jackpot pales in comparison to the two largest pots of all time, which were a $656 million prize won on March 30, 2012, and the $648 million won last year on Dec. 17.

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Two $1 million dollar winning tickets were sold between Ohio and Virginia in Friday's drawing, with players matching the lottery's first five numbers, which were 7 – 20 – 40 – 54 – 69, but missing the Mega Ball number of 12. Another three players in Arkansas, Florida and Virginia won $3 million each by not only managing to match the first five numbers but also choosing e to pay an extra $1 for the Megaplier option to increase their winnings, according to MegaMillions.com.

Since October, Mega Millions has sold an even 100 tickets in which players have matched the first five numbers, seven of which with the Megaplier option selected, amounting to two $5 million, one $4 million, and four $3 million winners, the lotto noted.

Mega Millions has seen its jackpots grow significantly since October, after the lottery increased its number pool from one through 56 to one through 75, thereby significantly increasing the odds against the player.

As a result of the change, the odds of winning a Mega Millions jackpot with a single ticket increased from 1 in 176 million to 1 in 259 million. With tougher odds, Mega Millions officials hoped to see larger jackpots more frequently, and consequently more interest.

In comparison, Powerball, which costs $2 per ticket and has one through 59 balls, gives the player a one in 175 million chance of winning the jackpot. The current Powerball jackpot is $80 million, with a cash payout of nearly $45.9 million. The next Powerball drawing will be Wednesday night.

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