Ever dreamed of winning more than $1 billion? If the answer is yes, a $2 Mega Millions ticket might be among the items you purchase Friday.
What Happened: Mega Millions is one of two big jackpot games in multiple states and territories in the U.S.
The jackpot has not been won for the past 29 straight drawings dating back to April 15, which has led to one of the highest Mega Millions jackpots on record.
The current jackpot is $1.1 billion for the Friday, July 29 drawing that takes place at 11 p.m. ET. Sales for Mega Millions tickets at retail stores and online end at 10:45 p.m. ET before the drawing.
States and territories that participate in the Mega Millions are: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Washington D.C., Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Virgin Islands, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Tickets cost $2 to play, with an additional $1 cost for the multiplier. The multiplier ball raises the non-jackpot amount won by 2-times, 3-times, 4-times or 5-times.
The $1.1 billion jackpot is payable over a 30-year period. One payment is made initially with additional annual amounts that go up 5% each year. This is done to offset potential inflation. A lump-sum cash option of the money in the Mega Millions pool is also offered with a current estimate of $648.2 million.
How To Play: The Mega Millions drawing selects five white balls and one golden Mega Ball. The white balls consist of numbers 1 to 70 and the gold Mega Ball is numbered 1 to 25.
Players can select their own numbers for their ticket, with lucky numbers, birthdays and anniversaries often among the favorite selections. Players can also receive random numbers by selecting an easy pick/quick pick.
Matching the gold ball automatically pays out $4 to players. Any combination of white balls with the gold ball has a payout with all five white and the gold needed for the jackpot.
Without the gold ball, players need to match at least three white balls to receive a $10 prize (odds 1 in 606).
Matching five white balls and not the golden ball pays out $1 million (odds 1 in 12,607,706).
The odds to win the jackpot are 1 in 302,575,350.
Overall odds to win a prize of at least $4 are 1 in 24.
The winning numbers Tuesday, July 26 were 7, 29, 60, 63 and 66 with the Mega Ball 15 drawn. There were eight tickets that matched all five white balls but not the Mega Ball.
For those interested in frequently appearing numbers, this was the second straight drawing that had three numbers in the 60 to 69 range drawn and the second straight drawing with the numbers 60 and 66 drawn.
Jackpot History: Friday’s drawing could be the second-largest Mega Millions winner. Drawings in 2018 and 2021 produced winners of $1.537 billion and $1.05 billion, respectively. The largest lottery winner was a Powerball jackpot in 2016 for $1.586 billion.
The Mega Millions jackpot was last won on April 15 by a player in Tennessee. Four Mega Millions jackpots have been won in 2022 listed below:
- January 28: California, $426 million
- March 8: New York, $128 million
- April 12: Minnesota, $110 million
- April 15: Tennessee, $15 million
Companies to Watch: Two companies involved in the sale of lottery tickets and ticketing products are International Game Technology PLC IGT and Scientific Games, a unit of Brookfield Business Partners LP BBU.
When jackpots reach record levels, gas stations and convenience stores become popular places for consumers to buy tickets.
Travelcenters of America Inc TA operates one of the largest networks of travel centers and gas stations in the U.S. Pilot Flying J has more than 800 travel centers and is partially owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc BRKABRKB.
The travel centers could be popular purchase locations for lottery tickets, especially for drivers passing through that reside in states that don’t offer the Mega Millions.
Many of the largest gas station chains are privately held or owned by large oil companies, which could make the impact on the companies and investors minimal.
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