Posted on: June 30, 2022, 12:19 p.m.
Last update: June 30, 2022, 12:45 p.m.
The Mega Millions jackpot continues to climb as no ticket has matched all six numbers since April 15, when a lucky individual from Tennessee won a $20 million prize.
Since the April 15 draw, Mega Millions has sold tens of millions of $2 tickets, all of which have failed to hit all five white balls and the golden Mega Ball. It’s not entirely surprising that none of the tickets did, as the odds of a ticket matching all six numbers are only one in 302.6 million.
In the absence of tickets reaching June 28 numbers 7-12-21-43-55 and Mega Ball 11, the jackpot rolls over to Friday’s draw. Lottery officials estimate the July 1 jackpot at $360 million.
If a winner matches all six numbers tomorrow, they will have the option of collecting the full $360 million via a 29-year annuity payment schedule, or taking a one-time lump sum of $199.3 million. Both payments are before the withdrawal of federal and state taxes.
The game increases with the jackpots
Lottery officials for the country’s two most popular games – Mega Millions and Powerball – have scrapped guaranteed minimum jackpots amid the pandemic. With many lottery retailers closed in 2020 and players confined to their homes, lottery sales have declined during the COVID-19 hysteria.
In addition to guaranteed minimums, both interstate lottery games have also removed guaranteed jackpot increases between draws. Post-pandemic, however, the game returned to the revenue peak of 2019.
Lottery jackpots have skyrocketed over the past 12+ months. And lottery sales usually increase when accompanied by worthwhile jackpots.
In April, an Arizona Powerball player won a life-changing $473.1 million jackpot. The hit ranked among the 20 biggest lottery jackpots ever won in the United States.
Most players are well aware that they are more likely to be struck and killed by falling debris from an airplane than by hitting all six Mega Millions numbers. Economists have long called the lottery a tax on the poor. The French philosopher Voltaire went further by calling lotteries a “tax on stupidity”.
Despite the excessively long odds, even well-educated people regularly try their luck with a $2 Powerball or Mega Millions game.
As soon as the numbers rise enough, tens of millions of Americans will be heading to their convenience stores for a virtually non-existent chance of becoming very, very rich,” Five-time Emmy winner Jeff Greenfield wrote in Politics in 2018.
Greenfield, who titled his article, “Mega Millions is a scam that’s so worth it,” says that while smaller jackpots would be life-changing sums for almost anyone, when the jackpots get closer to the half of a billion-dollar range, the temptation is just too overwhelming for even the most educated dreamer.
“We never see long queues and hysterical reports when the jackpots are, say, $40 million, although for most of us – say, 99% – a $40 million prize would dramatically change our lives. But once the numbers hit half a billion dollars, the lure of the prize becomes irresistible,” Greenfield wrote.
Although your chances of winning the Mega Millions or Powerball jackpot are almost implausible, one person did it this week.
Powerball says only one winning ticket sold in Vermont matched all six numbers in last night’s draw. The $366.7 million win is the first winning Powerball jackpot in Vermont history.
The winner has not yet been revealed. Vermont Lottery rules do not allow individuals to remain anonymous, but they may seek to keep their identity hidden by accepting the prize through a trust.