The Mega Millions jackpot rose to $615 million Friday, the eighth-highest total in the history of the lottery, while the Powerball jackpot rose to $550 million after its Wednesday night drawing had no winners.
The next Mega Millions drawing will be held at 11 p.m. Tuesday. The $615 million figure represents the fourth-highest total in the history of the Mega Millions game, according to information provided by the Massachusetts State Lottery. A potential winner would receive $451.8 million in cash. The jackpot was initially set at $600 million but increased to $615 million “due to the overall level of sales across participating lotteries,” State Lottery spokesman Christian Teja said.
The $550 million Powerball jackpot is the ninth highest in the history of the game, lottery officials said. The next Powerball drawing will be held at 10:59 p.m. Wednesday in Tallahassee, Florida. A potential winner would receive $411.4 million in cash.
Teja said the state lottery sold over 1.7 million tickets for the weekend lottery drawings.
Tuesday’s Mega Millions jackpot is the largest since a $1.537 billion prize, the game’s highest, was won by an anonymous player in South Carolina in 2018, lottery officials said. The odds of winning the jackpot sit at 1 in 302,575,350, the game’s website said.
Wednesday’s Powerball jackpot is the largest since Manuel Franco of Wisconsin took home a $768.4 million prize in March 2019. The odds of winning the jackpot sit at 1 in 292,201,338, the game’s website said.
As part of social distancing efforts amid the COVID-19 pandemic, lottery officials lowered the starting point for each game’s jackpot to $20 million from $40 million.
Tickets for both games cost $2 and are available in 45 states, Washington D.C., and the US Virgin Islands.
Massachusetts State Lottery Executive Director Michael Sweeney encouraged potential participants not to stretch beyond their means to participate in the games.
“As always, we encourage people to keep the experience of playing these games enjoyable by playing responsibly and within their means,” Sweeney said in a statement. “Playing responsibly has taken on an additional meaning in the last year and we join public health officials in reminding people to follow the recommended health and safety guidelines when visiting retail locations.”
Charlie McKenna can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.