With a lot of people just eager to set aside the disaster that 2020 has been and breathe a sigh of relief, the two biggest multi-state lottery games in the United States feature jackpots that are a combined $800 million and will instantly change the fortunes of whoever is lucky enough to bag them. This week, no one had been able to match all six numbers for either the Powerball or Mega Millions drawings. The jackpots in both the games had been near the $400 million mark for the draws scheduled on Friday and Saturday.
This means that someone will be kicking off 2021 with a wad of cash and a huge celebration to match it. The jackpots had swelled this high simultaneously for the two games back in 2018, where they had reached a value of $1 billion. It was just the second time in history that the combined value of the prizes in the two US lottery games had reached a value of $800 million. Depending on whether someone manages to win any of the jackpots this weekend, it will be the third time.
The Mega Millions and the Powerball are also, respectively, the world’s first and second-highest jackpots for now. The third-largest jackpot in the world is the SuperEnalotto’s jackpot in Italy, which is valued at €84.9 million, which makes it the equivalent of $104.41 million. The Mega Millions jackpot had started to grow from September 18th onwards when it was $20 million and it has rolled over 30 times since then. Before a change in the rules that was brought on due to slowing sales, the jackpots had started at $40 million.
Before the Mega Millions draw on Tuesday, the jackpot had had a value of $376 million and now it has rolled to a total of $401 million since there was no winner. The next drawing is scheduled for 11:00 pm EST on Friday, January 1st, 2021 and will have a cash value of $305.4 million. Meanwhile, the Powerball jackpot had also started at $20 million on September 19th and has also rolled over 30 times. Similar to Mega Millions, the starting jackpots of $40 million had been reduced to $20 million, as sales had been impacted because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Before the drawing on Wednesday, the Powerball jackpot had been equally mouthwatering at $363 million and it has now reached $384 million and it will have a cash value of $295.4 million. This will be up for grabs on January 2nd, Saturday at 10:59 EST. The real stars of the show are the cash values of these jackpots, as they are the 18th and 19th largest cash values of US lottery jackpots of all times. For the Mega Millions, the annuity jackpots are the 28th largest and 33rd largest for the Powerball in US history.
It was in June of this year that the Mega Million jackpot had crossed the $400 million mark, which had gone to an anonymous couple from Glendale, Arizona.