May 8, 2020 | News | No Comments
The record-breaking Mega Millions jackpot has now climbed to $1.6 billion after no one matched the winning numbers from the Friday, October 19 drawing. The next drawing will be held on Tuesday, October 23 and if a player wins that jackpot, the estimated cash option is nearly $905 million.
Winning numbers: The winning Mega Millions numbers for Friday, October 19 are: 15, 23, 53, 65 and 70. The gold Mega ball is 7. The Megaplier is 2.
The new jackpot amount surpasses the January 2016 Powerball jackpot of $1.586 billion. The previous record Mega Millions jackpot was $656 million, which was shared by winners in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland in the drawing on March 30, 2012, according to a Mega Millions press release.
What does $1 billion even look like? If you stacked 1 billion $1 on top of each other, the pile would be 358,510 feet high. That many $1 bills would cover a 4-square-mile area, or 2,555 acres, or stretch 96,900 miles if laid end to end.
And, can you believe this, $1 billion in dollar bills would weigh 10 tons. That’s all according to the Cox Media Group, which put together the numbers ahead of a drawing for a huge lottery jackpot.
And, not to bring you down as you dream of what you’d do with $1 billion, technology titan Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon, would still be 160 times richer than you are.
But who’s counting chump change? You’d be as rich as “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling. And for the $1 billion in lottery winnings, you could get a couple of George Clooneys and Elton Johns, or five Johnny Depps.
America has a serious case of Mega Millions fever about right now. At any given time Friday, close to 200 million people were searching for “what will $1 billion buy?” on Google. Depending on where they live, the time to claim a Mega Millions prize ranges from 180 days to one year from the draw date.
“Watching the jackpot numbers soar is exciting for everyone. It’s exciting for players to dream about what they would do if they won, and it’s exciting for us waiting to see who the big winner will be,” Ohio Lottery Director Dennis Berg said in a statement.
While no one matched all six numbers in the Friday drawing, there were 15 tickets that matched five of the numbers. Matching five white balls, but not the gold Mega ball, wins a ticket holder the second-place prize for Mega Millions — $1 million. If a ticket holder matches the five white balls, but not the gold Mega ball, and they get the Megaplier, the ticket is worth $5 million.
“Mega Millions has already entered historic territory, but it’s truly astounding to think that now the jackpot has reached an all-time world record,” said Gordon Medenica, Lead Director of the Mega Millions Group and Director of Maryland Lottery and Gaming. “It’s hard to overstate how exciting this is – but now it’s really getting fun.”
The last Mega Millions jackpot was won on July 24. An 11-member office pool in Santa Clara County, California won a $543 million jackpot. That was the largest jackpot ever won by a single ticket. Mega Millions has been breaking records all year it seems.
So far, this year, four Mega Millions jackpots have been won. First, a Florida player won a $451 million prize on January 5, then a $533 million jackpot was won on March 30, by a New Jersey player; a $142 million jackpot was won in Ohio on May 4; and then the Californians won their $543 million jackpot on July 24.
In 2017, by comparison, there were six jackpots won during the year.
The last time an Ohioan won the Mega Millions jackpot was on May 4, 2018. The winning ticket was worth $142 million and was sold at Fat Daddy’s Road Dog in Moraine. Ohio is responsible for the fourth most Mega Millions wins in the game’s history.
The winning Mega Millions numbers for Tuesday, October 16 were : 3, 45, 49, 61, and 69. The gold Mega ball was 9. The Megaplier was 5.
The current jackpot surpassed the previous largest jackpot in history on Tuesday morning. In March 2012, the prize spiked to $656 million before being won. The grand prize was split between winners in Kansas, Maryland, and Illinois.
In the six years since that drawing, only one other jackpot has come close to the $656 million mark, a 2013 prize that swelled to $648 million.
A single play costs $2. Players pick six numbers from two separate pools of numbers – five different numbers from 1 to 70 and one number from 1 to 25 (the Mega Ball number). Players can also use an easy pick feature, where a computer selects random numbers for them. To win the jackpot, a player much match all six numbers.
The odds of picking the correct numbers on five white balls and one yellow ball are one in 302 million. No matter how many people play Mega Millions, the chances of winning never change. The chances of winning are based on the amount of number combinations, not the number of players buying tickets, say lottery officials.
Mega Millions is played in 44 states plus Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Drawings take place at 11 p.m. ET each Tuesday and Friday. Want to know if Mega Millions is played near you? Check out the Mega Millions website and find out!
Jackpots have been won in 22 of the 44 participating states. All of the original Mega Millions participating states have seen a resident win at least one jackpot.
After a jackpot is won, the Mega Millions game automatically resets to $40 million and grows with each lottery where there is not a winning jackpot ticket sold.
History of Mega Millions
The Mega Millions game began in 1996 as the Big Game, according to the Mega Millions website. The original Big Game was only played across six states: Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan and Virginia.
In a neat bit of trivia, there was actually a winner in the very first Big Game (aka Mega Millions) drawing. On May 17, 2002, someone got lucky in Illinois and took home a $28 million jackpot. Just one week later a second jackpot was won. That means there were two jackpot winners in three drawings.
To the shock of no one, the game grew rapidly from from 1996 through 2002, expanding into New York, New Jersey and Ohio. Once the Big Game had begun to spread across the east coast, it was renamed Mega Millions.
By January 2010, 23 more states joined the Mega Millions game. The craze had spread to the West Coast. As mentioned before, in late 2018, Mega Millions is now played in 44 states nationwide, plus the U.S. Virgin Islands and Washington, D.C.
Since its inception, there have been 179 Mega MIllions jackpots that have been won by 203 individual tickets. Roughly 20 jackpots have been shared between two or more winning tickets, the organization said.
Mega Millions launched a new prize matrix in 2013 and became the first wide-spread lottery game to offer a second-place prize, with rewards reaching up to $5 million.
Here is a list of the 10 largest jackpots in Mega Millions history (prior to the current jackpot):
Photo by John Minchillo/Associated Press