Mega Millions Drawing Time: Buying Lottery Tickets Deadline
The Mega Millions jackpot has reached an estimated $720 million, making it the fifth largest Mega Millions jackpot ever.
Are you considering playing the Mega Millions lottery? If so, there are some important details you need to be aware of before you start. The current jackpot for Friday night's drawing is estimated to be a whopping $720 million, with a cash option of $369.6 million. This makes it the fifth largest Mega Millions jackpot and the 12th largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history.
The jackpot has been steadily growing since it was last won on April 18, when a lucky individual in East Syracuse, New York, walked away with a $20 million prize. Prior to that, on April 14, a lottery player in Ozone Park, New York, won an incredible $483 million jackpot. With such large sums of money up for grabs, it's no wonder that people are eager to participate.
If you're interested in playing, here are some key things you should know. Mega Millions drawings take place every Tuesday and Friday at 11 p.m., so mark your calendars accordingly. However, keep in mind that the deadline for purchasing a Mega Millions ticket can vary depending on your state. It's important not to wait until the last minute, as the deadline can be as early as 15 minutes to an hour before the actual drawing. In some cases, such as with certain third-party lottery apps like Jackpocket in New Jersey, the deadline can be as close as two hours before the drawing. To avoid missing out, make sure to check the specific deadline for your jurisdiction.
The cost of a Mega Millions ticket is $2. However, if you're feeling lucky, you can add the Megaplier for an additional $1. This option allows you to potentially increase the amount of your prize by up to five times the original amount, excluding the jackpot. When playing, each player must select five numbers ranging from 1 to 70 for the white balls, as well as one number from 1 to 25 for the Mega Ball. Alternatively, you can choose to have the lottery machine generate a random Quick Pick for you. It's worth noting that you don't need to be a U.S. citizen or a resident of a specific state to purchase a ticket.
In terms of winnings, matching just one number - the Mega Ball - can earn you $2. While it may not be the jackpot, you can still win up to $1 million for matching all five white balls (excluding California) or the jackpot for matching all six balls. To see the full breakdown of prize payouts, you can visit the Mega Millions website.
Mega Millions is available to play in 45 states, as well as the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. However, there are a few states that do not offer the game, including Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah. If you're looking to purchase tickets, you'll find them available at many grocery stores, gas stations, and convenience stores. Some states even allow for online ticket purchases, although it's important to be cautious of scam websites. To ensure legitimacy, it's best to check with your state lottery for more information.
While playing the Mega Millions can be an exhilarating experience, it's important to remember not to get carried away with spending before you actually win. The odds of winning the jackpot are quite slim, at 302,575,350-to-1. The odds of matching all five white balls are slightly better, at 12,607,306-to-1. With such long odds, it's important to keep your expectations in check.
To put things into perspective, here are the top 10 Mega Millions jackpots ever recorded:
1. $1.537 billion - October 23, 2018
2. $1.05 billion - January 22, 2021
3. $656 million - March 30, 2012
4. $648 million - December 17, 2013
5. $543 million - July 24, 2018
6. $536 million - July 8, 2016
7. $533 million - March 30, 2018
8. $522 million - June 7, 2019
9. $451 million - January 5, 2018
10. $437 million - January 1, 2019
When it comes to the largest lottery jackpots in U.S. history, both the Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries have seen some incredible wins. Here's a look at the top jackpots ever won:
1. $1.586 billion - Powerball, January 13, 2016
2. $1.537 billion - Mega Millions, October 23, 2018
3. $768.4 million - Powerball, March 27, 2019
4. $758.7 million - Powerball, August 23, 2017
5. $731.1 million - Powerball, January 20, 2021
In conclusion, the Mega Millions lottery offers a chance at life-changing sums of money. However, it's important to approach it with realistic expectations and not to spend more than you can afford. While the odds may be stacked against you, the thrill of playing and the potential for a life-altering win are what keep people coming back for more. So, if you're feeling lucky, why not give it a shot? Who knows, you might just be the next Mega Millions jackpot winner.