If someone wins big in this week’s lottery, they’ll not only be set up for life. They may also set a record (or come close) for earnings on a single Powerball or Mega Millions ticket.
The Mega Millions jackpot is now $654 million, making it the second-biggest Mega Millions jackpot ever. The cash option on this Mega Millions drawing is $372.6 million, since no one claimed the Mega Ball during Friday’s drawing. One lucky winner, Ashley Eggen of Elizabethtown, Ky., took in $1 million during Friday’s drawing for matching the five-ball numbers drawn, according to NBC.
Mega Millions jackpots can quickly reach outsized amounts because each prize begins from an initial $40 million and rolls over, sometimes for weeks and weeks, before anyone claims their winnings. Mega Millions drawing days are Tuesdays and Fridays, with the next Mega Millions drawing on Tuesday, October 16.
The last time Mega Millions was this big, it was only worth $2 million more. That historic drawing, back in March 2012, for $656 million was shared between ticket holders in Illinois, Kansas, and Maryland. More than a billion tickets were sold before that single drawing.
This week’s Powerball has an almost equally impressive top prize, the game’s fourth-largest jackpot in history, now at $345 million. Winning Powerball numbers have tended to split between two or three people or households in recent years. In 2017, a Massachusetts woman, Mavis L. Wanczyk, set a new record for the highest jackpot claimed by a single person, winning the $758.7 million Powerball (and opting for the one-time $480 million payout, according to CNBC).
Powerball drawing days are Wednesdays and Saturdays, and the next Powerball drawing, worth a prize of $345 million, will be on Wednesday, October 17.