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Thursday's Mega Millions jackpot reached an unprecedented $150 million combined, and Wednesday's Powerball drawing is predicted to offer even bigger rewards. This makes the fourth-largest lottery prize in US history!
Ohio Lottery officials report two ticket holders from Sandusky and Marysville have matched five numbers, but not the Mega Ball, to win $1 million each. Their tickets were purchased from The Party Pak at 201 South Sandusky Avenue and Corner Carry Out at 537 Southy Maple Street.
On Thursday night's Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots combined for an incredible $150 million, making it the second-largest lottery prize in history. Unfortunately, none of these prizes were won during the draws; however, two lucky ticket holders in Ohio did walk away with $1 million prizes on Tuesday night.
Mega Millions was initially offered in Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan and Virginia under the name The Big Game; however it changed to Mega Millions in 2002 to help boost lottery revenue after 9/11. By that time the new lottery had expanded beyond 45 states plus D.C.
To win the Mega Millions jackpot, you must match all five numbers plus the Mega Ball. According to the Multistate Lottery Commission (MUSL), your odds of success are 1 in 302.6 million.
Tickets cost $2 per play and can be purchased from participating retailers or online. Seniors also enjoy reduced ticket prices - up to a 25 percent reduction!
At the drawing, a computerized machine mixes random numbers of balls into a drum. The balls are then drawn out and displayed on screen for all to see. To receive their prize, winners must claim it within 180 days from drawing date.
In October, the MUSL board adopted a revised prize structure for both games that increased money allocated to the jackpot and added more lower-tier rewards. This change is intended to boost cash payouts to winners and improve overall odds of success.
The new format allocates approximately 75 percent of the prize pool to the jackpot - higher than previous versions of Mega Millions and Powerball which allocated 60 percent. Furthermore, players can select just the jackpot for $3, allowing them to win less money but still receive a larger sum in cash prizes.
This change, along with other adjustments, was designed to boost the odds of winning the jackpot and improve overall odds for smaller prizes. Furthermore, this structure ensures an equitable distribution of prize pool funds across all games, giving players the option between cash or annuity payments.
Though the odds of winning a jackpot have been steadily improving, the number of jackpot winners has not. As a result, the size of the prize pool has grown faster than its potential winners' share.
One reason the jackpots keep increasing is that more people are buying tickets. According to MUSL website, "ticket sales in Ohio alone have doubled since 2012." Since 1988, this lottery has generated more than $10 billion in revenue for the state of Ohio alone.
On Thursday, the jackpots for Mega Millions and Powerball combined exceeded $150 million; however, no winners were declared in either game. If a winning ticket is sold, this would mark the fifth U.S. lottery prize to surpass $1 billion since 2016, as well as the second billion-dollar jackpot of 2022.
Victor Matheson, an economics professor at the College of the Holy Cross who studies lotteries, notes that top jackpots on both games will roll over into the next drawing and provide more chances for winners. That can only be viewed as a good thing since it increases odds for someone to come out on top in each drawing.
Jackpot sizes remain a primary driver of lottery sales, but the odds for winning smaller prizes have remained fairly consistent over decades. That's because jackpot organizers have gradually made games harder to win over time, according to Matheson.
These changes are part of an effort to ensure more money goes into the jackpot pool and that those who don't win can at least feel satisfied by winning small prizes. It appears this strategy is working.
For instance, the "Power Play" add-on feature can multiply non-jackpot prizes up to $2 million for matching five white balls or provide the advertised jackpot with a 10X multiplier for just $1 extra play. The multiplier number will be randomly selected just before the drawing.
Increase your odds of winning with Powerball or Mega Millions, but remember they come with a risk; the probability of hitting the jackpot is only 1 in 292.2 million for Powerball and 1 in 303 million for Mega Millions.
Matheson notes that to maintain lottery profits, MUSL has made it more challenging to win large jackpots by creating new number combinations and offering additional ways to win smaller rewards. This strategy works effectively to prevent one person from scooping all the prizes in a given draw, keeping it profitable but making it hard for anyone to hit it big.
Powerball organizers have also contributed more money into the state's general revenue fund, keeping it separate from lottery profits. This provides the state with a chance to reinvest these funds in various initiatives, including education.
Matheson attributes the rising prevalence of lottery jackpots to an increase in playing numbers among consumers. According to the American Lottery Association, about 25% of Americans are regular lottery players - up from 16 percent five years earlier.
One of the major changes MUSL made was adding more number combinations and making it harder to hit the jackpot. When they made this change in 2015, their odds for winning a jackpot were 1 in 175 million.
Organisers are unlikely to keep making their lotteries harder to win unless the jackpot sizes continue to increase. A bigger prize would require higher ticket prices, increasing competition among participants and decreasing profitability for the lottery due to costs such as paying officials and employees.
The Ohio Lottery provides players with an exciting array of games to win big prizes. In addition to Mega Millions and Powerball, retailers throughout the state offer several other titles that can be enjoyed for $1 up to $10 in price. Some even feature progressive jackpots or pari-mutuel pool features!
The lottery is one of the most beloved gambling options in America, offering millions of dollars in prize money annually. Its proceeds have supported public education and it also awards annual or monthly gifts to teachers, students, and schools that deserve special recognition.
There are various ways to play the lottery, from scratch-off cards to online and mobile platforms. It's essential that you understand how these games operate and your chances of winning.
The Ohio Lottery, as part of the Multi-State Lottery Association, offers three of America's most beloved draw-style games: Powerball, Mega Millions and Lucky for Life. Plus they recently introduced EZPLAY Games--an instant win game where players can instantly win by scratching their ticket.
Other games like Black Ice and Extreme Cash offer even greater cash prizes. Some of the top scratch-offs can yield up to half a million dollars in winnings!
Some of the most sought-after lottery games include Powerball and Mega Millions, both featuring jackpots that could reach up to $500 million. In addition to these two titles, Ohio Lottery also provides Lucky for Life - a multi-state game available in 26 jurisdictions since 2015.
The top jackpot prize in the Ohio Lottery is worth $530 million. You can purchase tickets for Tuesday's drawing at any participating retailer or online through their website. For an additional $1, you can add on Power Play feature and multiply any non-jackpot prize received.
In the Ohio Lottery, there are several other games you can play for less money than Mega Millions or Powerball jackpots. These include Classic Lotto with a jackpot of $5.4 million; Rolling Cash 5, which offers daily draws with payouts of $110,000 if you match all five numbers; and Lucky for Life, the third largest multi-state draw game in US that provides payouts throughout life.
Playing these lotteries is a breeze, and the best part is that you can win some serious cash without breaking your budget. In fact, the odds of hitting the jackpot are incredible - 1-in-292,201,338 for a $2 ticket!
When purchasing a Powerball or Mega Millions ticket, it is wise to get a copy of the official lottery rules. These will inform you how many draws are scheduled each day, what the prize amounts are and what are your odds for winning.