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Mega Millions jackpot nearing $1 billion after no one won $865 million bonanza

By Peter Martinez

Updated on: January 20, 2021 / 3:10 AM / CBS News

There were no winning tickets sold for Tuesday night’s estimated $865 million Mega Millions jackpot, so the top prize for Friday’s drawing surged to at least $970 million. The bounty has reached those heights because there hasn’t been a winner since mid-September.

A $970 million payout would be Mega Millions’ second largest, behind only a $1.54 billion bonanza won in 2018.

Each Mega Millions ticket costs $2 and winners must match six numbers, including the Mega Ball, to take home the full sum.

Taking a jackpot’s lump payment cash value is an option favored by most winners. Otherwise, the jackpot is doled out over 30 years.

If nobody matches all of Tuesday night’s winning numbers, the next drawing Friday night will have an estimated jackpot of $970 million, according to Mega Millions.

Tuesday’s Mega Millions winning numbers

  • 10, 19, 26, 28, 50
  • Mega Ball: 16
  • Megaplier: 2x

Mega Millions tickets are are sold in 44 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Meanwhile, the Powerball lottery jackpot has swelled to an estimated $730 million. Winning numbers will be drawn Wednesday night.

It’s the first time both lotteries have topped $700 million simultaneously.

The largest U.S. lottery prize ever was a $1.58 billion Powerball jackpot won by three players in 2016.

The odds of winning a jackpot are overwhelmingly slim at 1 in 302.5 million for Mega Millions and 1 in 292.2 million for Powerball.

The following are the 10 biggest Mega Millions jackpots ever, along with where the tickets were purchased:

  • $1.54 billion — one winning ticket in South Carolina (October 2018)
  • $656 million — three winning tickets in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland (March 2012)
  • $648 million — two winning tickets in California and Georgia (December 2013)
  • $615 million — unknown if there are winners (January 2021)
  • $543 million — one winning ticket in California (July 2018)
  • $536 million — one winning ticket in Indiana (July 2016)
  • $533 million — one winning ticket in New Jersey (March 2018)
  • $522 million — one winning ticket in California (June 2019)
  • $451 million — one winning ticket in Florida (January 2018)
  • $437 million — one winning ticket in New York (January 2019)

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

First published on January 19, 2021 / 11:01 PM

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The $970 million grand prize would be Mega Millions' second-largest, only trailing a $1.54 billion bonanza in 2018.