DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – After a long period of relatively low prizes, American lottery players now have a choice of games that offer combined jackpots of over $ 1 billion.
The jackpot for the Mega Millions draw on Tuesday night climbed to $ 615 million, and the main prize in the Powerball game reached $ 550 million before the draw on Wednesday.
It has been nearly two years since the two national lottery games offered such giant prizes, and only for the second time have the two jackpots reached $ 500 million.
The predicted Mega Millions Grand Prix is the eighth largest in US historyand the Powerball jackpot is the 1
Lottery prizes are growing more slowly than last spring, when employees lowered guaranteed minimums and stopped promising concrete increases as the coronavirus slowed sales.
Carol Gentry, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Lottery and Games, said Monday that the prizes were already huge, mainly because it had been months since someone had won the two jackpots. But Gentry is also speculating that more people are buying tickets because “it’s fun to focus on in the new year,” leading to faster rewards.
As much fun as it is to play games, people need to realize that their chances of winning big prizes are incredibly small. The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are one in 292.2 million, and the odds are even worse for Mega Millions at one in 302.5 million.
Lottery-promoted jackpots also refer to winners who take an annuity option in which prizes are paid out over 30 years. Almost all the winners actually choose the cash option, which for Mega Millions will now be around $ 451.8 million and for Powerball is $ 411.4 million.
Mega Millions and Powerball are played in 45 states, as well as in Washington, USA and the Virgin Islands. Powerball is also available in Puerto Rico.