RALEIGH, NC (NEWS RELEASE) – The estimated jackpot for the Tuesday, Jan. 4, Mega Millions drawing will be $330 million. The final size of the jackpot will be determined by ticket sales today and Tuesday, but it will be the first time the jackpot has exceeded $300 million in three and a half years.
If someone’s ticket matches the five white balls and the gold Mega Ball in Tuesday’s drawing, the winner would have a choice of claiming the $330 million jackpot as an annuity or getting a lump sum payment of $208.3 million. It is the highest Mega Millions jackpot since the N.C. Education Lottery joined the multi-state game on Jan. 31, 2010.
A $242 million jackpot on New Year’s Eve helped boost Mega Millions sales in North Carolina to the highest level yet. The NCEL recorded $1.9 million in Mega Millions tickets sales on Friday, Dec. 31.
“The education programs that we serve will see more lottery dollars because of this increase in sales,” said Alice Garland, acting executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery. “Our experience is that big jackpots not only attract folks who enjoy the Mega Millions game, but also capture the attention of those who only play the lottery occasionally and some who have never played before.”
So far eighteen Mega Millions tickets sold in the state have led to wins of $250,000 or more, including six prizes of $1 million and a $12 million jackpot won by a retired Greensboro businessman. North Carolina players who buy the $2 Megaplier ticket and match all five white balls automatically win $1 million.
Mega Millions drawings are held twice a week on Tuesday and Friday. The winning numbers are broadcast at 11 p.m. and are posted shortly afterward on the NCEL’s website. The game is played in 41 states and the District of Columbia.
Here are some key facts about the Mega Millions game.
- Last $300 million plus jackpot: $314 million on Aug. 25, 2007.
- Biggest jackpot won in U.S.: $390 million on March 6, 2007 on two tickets, one in Georgia and one in New Jersey.
- Last Mega Millions jackpot won: $141 million jackpot on Oct. 29, 2010 in Michigan.
- Number of jackpots won that exceeded $300 million: Four.
- Odds of matching numbers on five white balls and gold Mega Ball: 1 in 176 million