The Mega Millions jackpot last night (Tuesday, September 1) was estimated to be $78 million, with a cash value of $61.1 million. Here is a breakdown of the winners of last night’s draw.
The winning numbers were 15, 25, 26, 38 and 47 with the Mega Ball 22 and the Megaplier 4x, according to the Mega Millions website.
Nobody purchased a ticket that successfully matched all white numbers and the gold Mega Ball, meaning that the jackpot will roll over to the next drawing on Friday.
But two lucky winners did take home the second biggest prize on offer. Two tickets sold in New York and Texas respectively matched all five white balls, but not the gold Mega Ball, to receive a $1 million payout. If they had purchased the 4x Megaplier, their winnings would have been quadrupled to $4 million.
There were a further seven people who won at least $10,000 after correctly choosing four of the white balls and the gold Mega Ball. Two of those winners multiplied their winnings to $40,000 because they also purchased the additional 4x Megaplier. In total, there were 482,989 tickets purchased that won at least $2 last night.
With the jackpot not being won, it now increases in size to $88 million, with a cash option of roughly $69 million, for the next drawing at 11pm E.T. on Friday, September 4.
The previous Mega Ball lottery before last night was held on Friday, August 28 when the jackpot on offer was $68 million. The winning numbers for that drawing were 3, 9, 50, 53 and 64 with the Mega Ball being 1 and the Megaplier 3x.
There were no grand prize winners in that drawing either, but there was a ticket sold in the U.S. Virgin islands that matched all five white balls minus the gold Mega Ball to receive a seven figure payout. And in even better news for the lucky winner, the standard $1 million prize for matching all five white balls was tripled to $3 million because they purchased the 3x Megaplier.
The last time the jackpot was won was over a month ago, when back on July 31 a winning ticket purchased in California matched all numbers and the gold Mega Ball to scoop the $22 million top prize.
How does Mega Millions work?
One of the most popular multi-states lotteries in the country, Mega Millions first launched on August 31, 1996 as “The Big Game.” Tickets are sold in 45 states, as well as the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The five states not to sell lottery tickets are Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah.
Drawings are held every Tuesday and Friday at WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia by host John Crow.
Five white balls are drawn from a set of balls numbered 1 through 70, with one gold Mega Ball drawn from a set of balls numbered 1 through 25. With nine different ways to win a prize, your chances of winning at least $2 are 1 in 24, according to the Mega Millions website.
If you are a lucky winner, you will have between 90 days and one year to redeem your ticket, depending on local rules and regulations. All jackpot winners are entitled to either a cash option or an annuity option of an initial payout followed by 29 annual payments that are each five percent larger than the previous ones. All prizes are subject to income taxes.
Why is the Mega Millions prize so low?
Jackpots used to always start at $40 million, but from April 3 this has been reduced to $20 million. Minimum jackpot increases of $5 million for each roll were also eliminated.
A press release from the Mega Millions Consortium at the time said the changes “are in direct response to slowing sales during the current global pandemic.”
Gordon Medenica, Lead Director of the Mega Millions Consortium, further explained the decision to KENS.
“Typical sales patterns have been altered because the current health crisis has required people to stay home. We are concerned, first and foremost, with everyone’s health and well-being. Meanwhile, these adjustments will allow the states and jurisdictions that sell Mega Millions tickets to continue generating much-needed revenue to support state budgets,” he said.
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