Two of the biggest jackpots in U.S. lottery history are up for grabs this weekend.
First, on Friday night, players can take a chance on the Mega Millions jackpot, which has swelled to a projected $750 million — the fifth largest in lottery history and the game’s second largest ever.
The next night, they can try their luck in the Powerball drawing, with a projected $640 million jackpot, the eighth largest in U.S. history and the game’s biggest top prize since March 2019.
The jackpots promoted by both lotteries are the prize winnings of winners who take an annuity option, in which prizes are paid out over 30 years. Most winners opt for the cash option, now $550.6 million for Mega Millions and $478.7 million for Powerball.
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Mega Millions has gone 34 drawings without a winner since Sept. 15, when a $119 million jackpot was won in Wisconsin. Friday’s roll equals that of the longest in game history — after 35 drawings in 2016, a $536 million jackpot was awarded in Indiana.
The Powerball jackpot hasn’t been won since Sept. 16, a $94.6 million prize in New York — also 34 drawings ago.
Here’s what you need to know about both games:
- When is it? Mega Millions is drawn every Tuesday and Friday at 11 p.m. ET.
- What are the odds of winning? The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 302,575,350 and the odds of taking home $1 million by matching five numbers is 1 in 12,607,306. The overall chance of winning any prize is 1 in 24.
- What is the cost to play? Mega Millions tickets cost $2 each. Megaplier, which lets players increase non-jackpot prize winnings by 2, 3, 4 or 5 times, costs an extra $1.
- How do you play? Players pick six numbers from two separate pools of numbers. There are five different numbers from 1 to 70 and one number from 1 to 25. Players can also select Easy Pick or Quick Pick and have the numbers auto drawn.
- When is it? Powerball drawings are held Wednesday and Saturday at 10:59 p.m. ET.
- What are the odds of winning? The odds of winning the jackpot are one in 292.2 million. There is a 1 in 24.9 chance of winning any prize.
- What is the cost to play? Powerball costs $2 per play.
- How do you play? Select five numbers from 1 to 69 for the white balls, then select one number from 1 to 26 for the red Powerball.
Powerball and Mega Millions are played in 45 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Powerball is also offered in Puerto Rico.
Contributing: Sarah Brookbank, The Cincinnati Enquirer