Mega Millions jackpot up to $640 million after no big winner

Your Money

(AP file/Tony Gutierrez)

DES MOINES, Iowa — A giant Mega Millions jackpot grew larger Wednesday to an estimated $640 million after another drawing without a winner.

No one won the lottery game’s top prize Tuesday night, making it 21 straight drawings without anyone matching all six numbers. The next drawing will be Friday night.

The huge jackpot comes less than two months after the largest lottery prize ever, a $2.04 billion Powerball prize that was won Nov. 8 in California. So far, that big winner hasn’t stepped forward to claim the prize.

The reason for all the big prizes is simple — long odds ensure there are few winners and the long streaks of lottery futility allow jackpots to grow ever larger week after week.

The odds of winning a Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 302.6 million.

The advertised jackpot of $640 million is for a winner who opts to be paid with an annuity, doled out through annual payments over 29 years. Nearly all winners take the cash option, which for Friday’s drawing will be an estimated $328.3 million.

Here are the 10 largest Mega Millions jackpots to date:

  1. $1.537 billion: Oct. 23, 2018 (SC)
  2. $1.337 billion: July 29, 2022 (IL)
  3. $1.050 billion: Jan. 22, 2021 (MI)
  4. $656 million: Mar. 30, 2012 (IL, KS, MD)
  5. $648 million: Dec. 17, 2013 (CA, GA)
  6. $565 million (est)
  7. $543 million: July 24, 2018 (CA)
  8. $536 million: July 8, 2016 (IN)
  9. $533 million: Mar. 30, 2018 (NJ)
  10. $522 million: June 7, 2019 (CA)

Mega Millions is played in 45 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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