Mega Millions Building Up Toward Another Record-Breaking Jackpot

The Mega Millions jackpot is currently at $640 million, and if it keeps growing, it's poised to eek into the number 10 spot for largest jackpots of all time.

By Jennifer Hollohan | Published

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Even if you don’t typically buy lottery tickets, you might consider snagging one (or a few) today. The Mega Millions drawing happens tonight. And news of a $640 million payout is enough to put a smile on anyone’s face.

Americans love the lottery. The ticket cost pales in comparison to the thrill of watching the winning numbers appear. And even if you don’t win, it is ok.

You can always try again at the next lottery. Or, with any luck, no one won. In that case, the pot just keeps growing. 

That is exactly what happened with Mega Millions. The pot is now officially up to $640 million. And according to ABC7 news, “The jackpot comes with a cash option of $328.3 million.

The last Mega Millions drawing happened last Tuesday. During that drawing, the winning numbers were 9-13-36-59-61. And the Mega Ball number was 11.

If you play the lottery regularly, chances are you have at least heard of Mega Millions. You can purchase the $2 tickets in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the District of Columbia, and 45 states. Plus, you have the option of boosting your chances of earning.

For an additional $1, players can get a Megaplier. This unique addition gives players the ability to “multiply non-jackpot prizes.” Prize drawings happen every Tuesday and Friday.

If a lucky winner takes home the jackpot on Friday, their prize will be the “sixth largest in the history of the game – and the second-largest in 2022.” Last July, someone in Des Plaines, Illinois, purchased the winning ticket. They snagged $1.34 billion. 

But the record win for the year was not a Mega Millions ticket. A southern California resident purchased a winning Powerball ticket earlier in 2022. That jackpot was $2.04 billion.

Those large sums of money may finally tempt you to start purchasing lottery tickets. However, if you are still not convinced, we have good news. These sky-high jackpots are more common than you may think.

ABC7 pulled together the ten largest jackpots in lottery history. Keep reading to discover the sheer possibilities, which may be enough to draw you into the world of chance. The tenth largest is still no small sum.

Two lucky winners split a $687.8 million Powerball jackpot in 2018. They lived in New York and Iowa. Then a slightly larger Powerball ($699.8 million) went home with one California man in 2021.

The eighth highest winning was also in 2021. That year, a resident of Maryland had the winning Powerball ticket worth $731.1 million. That jackpot was only slightly smaller than the 2017 winning ticket from Massachusetts, worth $758.7 million. 

After the sixth highest winning, $768.4 million for a Wisconsin resident in 2019, we jump into the billions. Number five on the list finally came from a Mega Millions jackpot. One Michigan resident took home $1.05 billion at the beginning of 2021.

Numbers three and four on the list also came from Mega Millions, and both went to single ticket holders. Those winnings were $1.337 billion and $1.537 billion, respectively. The smaller amount occurred in 2022 and the larger in 2018.

The second highest winning was a Powerball jackpot in 2016. Three winners, from Florida, California, and Tennessee, split $1.586 billion. And the record was the $2.04 billion Powerball mentioned previously.