The winning numbers for Tuesday night’s Mega Millions drawing are: 29, 63, 66, 7, 60 and a 15 “mega ball.” The jackpot has swollen to an estimated $830 million.
The jackpot would be the nation’s fourth-largest lottery prize of all time and the third-largest Mega Millions prize. The drawing took place at 11 pm Eastern time.
“It takes a long time for this kind of jackpot to get up this high, so we’re excited,” Maria Kilbane, public information officer for Mega Millions, told CBS News.
The Mega Millions top prize has grown so large because no one has matched the game’s six numbers since April 15. That’s 28 consecutive draws without a jackpot winner. The biggest ever lottery payday was awon in 2016.
This year has seen: a $426 million pot in California in January, a $128 million ticket in New York in March and a $110 million prize in Minnesota in April, according to Mega Millions.
The odds of winning the jackpot are vanishingly small. You have better odds of a smaller payoff, such as winning $1 million for matching five regular numbers but missing the Mega Ball. But even that is one in 12.6 million.
To put that in perspective, your chance of dying in a car crash — something to consider as you drive to the mini-mart for a lottery ticket — is around one in 101 over a lifetime, according to the nonprofit National Safety Council.
How much is the payout after taxes?
Meanwhile, even if you somehow beat the odds, you won’t get $830 million. First, that’s the amount for winners who take the annuity option, paid over 30 annual payments. But winners typically opt for cash, which for this drawing would pay out an estimated $488 million.
“Some people like the idea of having something consistent over time,” but in recent years “just about everyone has chosen the cash option prize,” Kilbane said.
And then there are federal taxes, which she said would leave winnings of $351 million. State taxes also could cut into that amount depending on where the winner lives. Still a fortune, but a smaller fortune.
That also doesn’t account for the possibility that someone else will match the winning numbers, meaning they would need to divide even those smaller winnings in half or more, depending on the number of lucky players.
Mega Millions is played in 45 states as well as Washington, DC, and the US Virgin Islands. The game is coordinated by state lotteries.