Updated Mar 20, 2024 - Business

Mega Millions jackpot grows to $977 million for Friday drawing

Data: Powerball and Mega Millions; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Powerball and Mega Millions; Chart: Axios Visuals

The jackpot for Friday's Mega Millions drawing grew to an estimated $977 million — the 10th-largest U.S. lottery prize ever — up from $893 million Tuesday.

Why it matters: Only five Mega Millions jackpots have been bigger. All of them eventually surpassed $1 billion, lottery officials said in a statement.

  • The cash option for the March 22 drawing is worth approximately $461 million, the lottery website said early Wednesday.
  • The Mega Millions jackpot has been rolling since it was last won on Dec. 8.

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

  • Mega Millions changed its rules and odds in 2017.
  • The changes were designed to create more possible number combinations, making the chances of winning more of a pipe dream.

Winning Mega Millions numbers for March 19

The winning numbers in Tuesday's drawing are 24, 46, 49, 62 and 66 with the Mega Ball 7.

Did anyone win Mega Millions Tuesday?

The intrigue: No tickets matched all Mega Millions numbers to win the jackpot, the lottery posted Wednesday.

  • "Information on the number of winners is posted on Wednesday and Saturday mornings after Mega Millions lottery security has verified winning ticket sales," the lottery said in frequently asked questions on its website.

When is next Mega Millions drawing

Mega Millions drawings are held in Atlanta at 11pm ET on Tuesdays and Fridays.

How it works: Two machines pick the numbers in the drawings, the first picking five white balls and the other selecting a gold "Mega Ball."

How to play Mega Millions

Lottery players can pick six numbers from two separate pools — 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.

Mega Millions lottery ticket price

A Mega Millions ticket costs $2 but players in most states can "add the Megaplier for an additional $1 to multiply their non-jackpot prizes."

  • For 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.

Mega Millions odds of winning

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.

States selling Mega Millions tickets

Mega Millions tickets are sold in 45 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands, with drawings held each Tuesday and Friday.

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

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Editor's note: This story was updated with the winning Mega Millions lottery numbers and a new estimated jackpot after no ticket matched all numbers Tuesday.

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