Updated Aug 9, 2023 - Economy

Lottery fever cools as jackpot records become common

Tickets sold for <span style="background:#b32710; padding:3px 5px;color:white;">Mega Millions</span> and <span style="background:#e19310; padding:3px 5px;color:white;">Powerball</span> lotteries with jackpots of more than $1b
Data: Lotto Report; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Lottery fever might be turning into lottery fatigue after multiple record jackpots worth more than $1 billion were won in the past year.

Why it matters: Ticket sales are starting to wane when compared to historic prizes, according to an Axios analysis.

  • Ahead of Tuesday's Mega Millions drawing, the jackpot swelled to $1.58 billion but the number of tickets sold for recent drawings has fallen short of past record prizes.

Driving the news: Tuesday's Mega Millions jackpot is now the game's largest prize and the third-largest U.S. lottery prize ever.

  • The cash option for the Aug. 8 drawing is an estimated $783.3 million, and there have been 31 drawings since the last jackpot was won on April 18.

By the numbers: More than 132.7 million tickets were sold for the Aug. 4 drawing where the estimated jackpot was $1.35 billion, according to data from LottoReport.com.

  • But a Mega Millions drawing in January with a $1.35 billion jackpot sold 173.1 million tickets — 23% higher than what was sold for the Aug. 4 drawing.
  • Recent U.S. lottery jackpots have been breaking records, with five Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots worth more than $1 billion since the start of 2022.

The big picture: Bigger prizes — and fewer jackpot winners — have become the norm for the past few years after Powerball and Mega Millions made the games harder to win and more enticing to play.

  • It's the second time this year that a rolling Mega Millions jackpot has surpassed $1 billion.
  • Last month, a lottery ticket sold in California was the sole winner of the $1.08 billion Powerball jackpot.

Flashback: Mega Millions made the game harder to win in 2017 when it changed its rules and odds.

  • The changes were designed to create more possible number combinations, making the chances of winning more of a pipe dream.
  • Lower odds of winning have meant larger jackpots with bigger prizes, leading more people to pick up tickets in hopes of winning.

What we're watching: Ticket sales for the Aug. 8 drawing are not yet available and could grow more with the expected record-breaking jackpot.

Winning Mega Millions numbers for Tuesday

The winning numbers in Tuesday's drawing are 13, 19, 20, 32 and 33 with the Mega Ball 14.

Did anyone win Mega Millions Tuesday?

The latest: Yes, a ticket purchased in Florida won the jackpot Tuesday, according to the Mega Millions website.

Mega Millions drawing time

Mega Millions drawings are held in Atlanta at 11pm ET Tuesdays and Fridays, which is 8pm PT.

Mega Millions odds

The odds of winning the grand prize jackpot are about 1 in 303 million per ticket.

  • Other odds vary by prize and range from 1 in 37 for matching the Mega Ball to 1 in 12.6 million for matching five balls without the Mega Ball.

By the numbers: There have been only six Mega Million jackpot winners so far in 2022.

  • Since 2017, the number of jackpots won yearly has ranged from five to seven.
Electronic signs shows Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots
An electronic sign advertises the Mega Millions and Powerball jackpot amounts outside a convenience store Monday, Aug. 7. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Mega Millions ticket cost

The price for a Mega Millions ticket is $2, but players in most states can "add the Megaplier for an additional $1 to multiply their non-jackpot prizes."

Context: Out of each $2 ticket, roughly 35 cents goes to non-jackpot prizes, about 75 cents goes to fund the jackpot, and the remaining 90 cents goes to the government.

How to play Mega Millions

Lottery players pick six numbers from two separate pools of numbers — five different numbers from 1 to 70 (the white balls) and one number from 1 to 25 (the gold Mega Ball).

  • "Quick Pick" or "Easy Pick" tickets can also be purchased where numbers are selected automatically.
  • Two machines pick the numbers in the drawings with the first picking five white balls and the other selecting a gold "Mega Ball."

States selling Mega Millions lottery tickets

Mega Millions tickets are sold in 45 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

  • Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah do not participate in the lottery.

Cut-off time to buy Mega Millions tickets

The deadline to purchase tickets varies by state because Mega Millions tickets are sold by individual lotteries.

More from Axios:

Editor's note: This story was updated with the winning lottery numbers and details about the winning ticket.

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