Mar 23, 2024 - Business

Mega Millions jackpot grows to $1.1 billion after no winner Friday

Mega Millions forms to buy lottery tickets

Mega Millions hasn't had a grand-prize winner since December. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/ AFP via Getty Images

The Mega Millions jackpot grew to an estimated $1.1 billion Saturday, marking the first time this year that a U.S. lottery prize has entered billion-dollar territory.

Why it matters: The jackpot for the Tuesday, March 26 drawing is now the nation's eighth-largest lottery prize ever.

  • It has a cash value of $525.8 million, according to Mega Millions.
  • The jackpot has been rolling since it was last won on Dec. 8.

State of play: Fewer jackpot winners — and bigger prizes — have become the norm since Powerball and Mega Millions made the games harder to win and more enticing to play a few years ago.

  • The changes were designed to create more possible number combinations, making the chances of winning more of a pipe dream.
  • The Powerball jackpot for Saturday night is the game's ninth-largest in its history at an estimated $750 million.

Mega Millions drawing: Where to watch

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."

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.

How to play Mega Millions lottery

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 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.

What states sell 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.

  • Cutoff times to buy tickets vary by state because tickets are sold by individual lotteries.
  • Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah do not participate in the lottery.

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