For the second time in four months, the jackpots in Powerball® and Mega Millions® have topped the $300 million mark at the same time. After no jackpot winner Wednesday night, Powerball’s big prize is an estimated $384 million annuity ($242.9 million lump-sum option) for Saturday’s drawing, while the Mega Millions jackpot is an estimated $306 million annuity ($191.1 million lump-sum option) for Friday. That ranks both jackpots in the Top 25 for each game.
The fact that both games are seeing big jackpots at the same time is extremely unusual. The only other time it occurred was in August 2017.
How Did We Get Here?
The jackpots in both games have been growing for some time now. The Powerball jackpot was last won on Oct. 25 with a ticket purchased in Louisiana. Players can buy tickets here in Iowa for the next Powerball drawing up until 8:59 p.m. Saturday. The Mega Millions jackpot was last won in the drawing on Oct. 13 and was shared between two tickets purchased in Rhode Island and Michigan. Both jackpots have been growing since then to hit their current levels. Players can buy tickets in Iowa for the next Mega Millions drawing up until 8:59 p.m. Friday. Tickets purchased after those deadlines will be for an upcoming drawing and won’t have shot at that night’s big prize.
How Many Jackpots Have Been Won In 2017?
So far this year, there have been seven Powerball jackpot wins and six Mega Millions jackpot wins. Friday’s Mega Millions drawing and Saturday’s Powerball drawing are the last two drawings this year in those respective games.
Compare and Contrast
Powerball jackpots start at $40 million and grow until they're won. You choose five numbers from a pool of 69 and another number – the Powerball – from a separate pool of 26. If you match all six numbers, you win the jackpot, and there also are eight other prize levels you can win. Plays cost $2 and drawings are at 9:59 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Mega Millions jackpots also start at $40 million and grow until they're won. Players in the game choose five numbers from a pool of 70 and another number – the Mega Ball® -- from a separate pool of 25 numbers. If you match all six numbers, you win the jackpot, and there are eight other prize levels you can win. Tickets cost $2 and drawings are at 10 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Both games have a multiplier feature that costs an extra $1 per play and multiplies any non-jackpot prize by the number selected. Jackpot winners in both games can choose to receive their prize in annuitized payments over time or in a one-time, lump-sum payment.