Jackpot rolls punctuate holiday season
Lottery players here in Maryland and across the country have the chance to ring in the New Year with a pair of giant jackpots, as the top prizes in both Mega Millions and Powerball have surged past $300 million.
With no jackpot winner in Wednesday night’s Powerball drawing, the top prize for the next drawing on Saturday night rises to an estimated annuity value of $384 million, making it the 14th-largest jackpot amount in the game’s history. The cash option is $239.7 million. Wednesday’s Powerball drawing produced one winner of a third-level $50,000 prize in Maryland, and a total of 28,835 winning tickets sold in the state. Powerball’s nine prize levels range from $4 to the jackpot. If there is no jackpot winner for Saturday’s drawing, the Powerball jackpot will increase to $440 million for Wednesday’s drawing, with a cash option of $278.3 million.
Meanwhile, the estimated annuity value of Friday night’s Mega Millions drawing is $306 million, with a cash option of $191.1 million. On Dec. 26, the Mega Millions drawing produced 18,654 winning tickets in Maryland. Mega Millions also has nine prize levels, ranging from $2 to the jackpot. If there is no jackpot winner for Friday’s drawing, the Mega Millions jackpot will increase to $343 million for Tuesday’s drawing, with a cash option of $215.3 million.
The jackpots in both games have been rolling since October. The last Powerball jackpot win came in the Oct. 25 drawing, with a $191.1 million winner in Louisiana. There have been seven Powerball jackpot wins during 2017, most notably on Aug. 23, when a Massachusetts woman won $758.7 million – the second-largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history.
The Mega Millions jackpot has been hit six times in 2017, most recently on Oct. 13, when winners in Michigan and Rhode Island split a $42 million prize. The largest of the six Mega Millions jackpot prizes this year was $393 million on Aug. 11 in Illinois.
Mega Millions tickets are sold in 44 states, plus Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Powerball is available in 44 states, Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
Both games start at a base jackpot of $40 million, which rises after each drawing that doesn’t produce a jackpot winner. Tickets for Mega Millions and Powerball are $2 each. Mega Millions players can add the Megaplier option for an additional $1, which will multiply all prizes except the jackpot. Powerball players can add the Powerplay option for an additional $1, which also will multiply all prizes aside from the jackpot.
The Maryland Lottery strongly encourages players to check their tickets after every drawing by scanning them at any Lottery retailer, or with the free Maryland Lottery app, available for iPhones and Android phones. The Lottery also reminds players to enjoy Lottery games in moderation and within their budgets. Please play responsibly, and remember that one ticket is all it takes to have a chance to win.
Mega Millions drawings can be seen Tuesdays and Fridays, and Powerball drawings can be seen Wednesdays and Saturdays at 11:22 p.m. on Baltimore’s WBAL-TV.