July 7 update: Strong sales in Iowa and across the country have pushed the Mega Millions jackpot even higher for tomorrow night's drawing. The jackpot now stands at an estimated $540 million annuity, $380 million lump-sum option. It remains at No. 3 on the list of the largest Mega Millions jackpots and No. 7 among the largest jackpots in North America.
The Mega Millions jackpot just keeps climbing and climbing in what has become the longest jackpot run in the history of the game. The jackpot now stands at an estimated $508 million annuity, $357.7 million lump-sum option for Friday’s drawing. That puts it at No. 3 on the list of the largest Mega Millions jackpots of all time and No. 7 among the largest jackpots in North America.
THE GAME’S LONGEST RUN
The Mega Millions jackpot was last won in the drawing on March 8 with a ticket purchased in the state of Washington. So the big prize started growing with the drawing on Friday, March 11, and has continued to roll through a total of 34 draws thus far without a winner. Friday’s drawing will be the 35th in the run. The game has proven once again that you never know when the next big winner is going to hit.
THE BIGGEST MEGA MILLIONS JACKPOT IN 2½ YEARS
It’s been some time since the Mega Millions jackpot has been this high. The jackpot in the game last climbed to this level back in 2013, when a $648 million jackpot was split in the drawing on Dec. 17, 2013, by two tickets purchased in California and Georgia.
STILL LOOKING FOR $1 MILLION WINNER IN IOWA
A $1 million Mega Millions prize won in Iowa is still unclaimed more than a month after it was won and the Iowa Lottery is reminding players to double-check their tickets!
The lucky ticket, purchased at the Kum & Go, 5967 Ashworth Road in West Des Moines, came close to winning at least a share of the $187 million jackpot in the May 20 drawing, matching the first five numbers but missing the Mega Ball. The winning numbers that night were: 19-24-26-40-68 and Mega Ball 8. The Megaplier® number was 2.
Kum & Go received a $1,000 bonus from the lottery for selling the $1 million-winning ticket. It was the third ticket purchased in Iowa to win a prize of at least $1 million in 2016.
Prizes of $1 million must be claimed at Iowa Lottery headquarters in Clive. If the winner or winners need information before coming forward to claim the prize, they are invited to call the lottery at 515-725-7900.
INTERESTING TAKE ON CALENDAR DATES …
The Mega Millions jackpot has been won only twice so far in 2016, both times on calendar dates of eight: Jan. 8 with a ticket purchased in New York, and March 8 with a ticket purchased in the state of Washington. The next drawing is in two days on Friday, July 8. Will lightning strike on Friday?
THERE IS A DEADLINE FOR BUYING A TICKET
One of the biggest questions the Iowa Lottery is fielding this week is how late players can buy tickets for Friday’s drawing. Mega Millions drawings are at 10 p.m. central time on Tuesdays and Fridays. Here in Iowa, you can buy a ticket for Friday’s drawing up until 8:59 p.m. that day. If you buy a ticket after that time, it will be for a later drawing.
Lottery tickets in Iowa are sold at about 2,400 locations. Players in Mega Millions choose their first five numbers from a pool of 75, and another number - called the Mega Ball - from a separate pool of 15. The Megaplier option, which multiplies any prize except the jackpot, is available for an extra $1 per play.
PLEASE PLAY RESPONSIBLY
With the jackpot climbing, the Iowa Lottery continues to urge the public to play responsibly. You’ve seen the lottery say this many times, and we really mean it: It only takes one ticket to win. Have fun playing, but play within your means and don’t get in over your head. The fun of our games is that you can do a lot of dreaming for just a few dollars.