It’s that time again. Mega Millions players are checking their tickets following Friday night’s drawing.
The Mega Millions jackpot climbed to an estimated $355 million, with a cash option of $187.6 million, ahead of Friday’s drawing.
The chances of winning a Mega Millions jackpot are incredibly slim, standing at about one in 302 million.
If someone beats the nearly-impossible odds and wins the lottery game’s top prize Friday, the $355 million would only be distributed if they choose the annuity option, which distributes the prize over 29 annual payments.
Most lottery winners opt for the one-time, lump-sum cash payment. The final amount taken home depends on state and federal taxes.
Here’s what you need to know.
Why are lottery jackpots growing so large? Here’s what experts have to say.
Mega Millions winning numbers for March 31, 2023
The winning numbers for the Friday night drawing were 16, 26, 27, 42, 61, Mega Ball: 23 and Megaplier was 4x.
What are my chances of winning Mega Millions?
Although a $355 million jackpot might be tempting, it’s important to note that odds of taking home a top prize are extremely slim.
- The odds of winning the jackpot are 302,575,350 to 1.
- The odds to match all five white balls are 12,607,306 to 1.
How do I play Mega Millions?
To enter play Mega Millions, players pick six numbers – or choose to have the lottery machine generate a random “Easy Pick” or “Quick Pick”:
- Five numbers will go from 1 to 70 (white balls)
- One number can be picked from 1 to 25 (gold Mega Ball)
If your ticket matches all six of the winning numbers from the drawing, you’ll win the jackpot. There are also smaller prizes depending on how many balls your numbers match.
The cost to play Mega Millions is $2 a ticket. You can add the Megaplier for $1, which will increase the amount of your potential prize up to five times the original prize (except for the jackpot).
Mega Millions can be played in 45 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
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Largest lottery prizes in US history
Here are the largest lottery prizes in U.S. history, across Mega Millions and Powerball.
- $2.04 billion, Powerball, Nov. 7, 2022: Won in California.
- $1.586 billion, Powerball, Jan. 13, 2016: Three winners in California, Florida, and Tennessee.
- $1.537 billion, Mega Millions, Oct. 23, 2018: Won in South Carolina.
- $1.348 billion, Mega Millions, Jan. 13, 2023: Won in Maine.
- $1.337 billion, Mega Millions, July 29, 2022: Won in Illinois.
- $1.05 billion, Mega Millions, Jan. 22, 2021: Won in Michigan.
- $768.4 million, Powerball, March 27, 2019: Won in Wisconsin.
- $758.7 million, Powerball, Aug. 23, 2017: Won in Massachusetts.
- $754.6 million, Powerball, Feb. 6, 2023; Won in Washington.
- $730 million, Powerball, Jan. 20, 2021: Won in Maryland.
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