The final Mega Millions drawing of the year is just hours away. And the lottery game’s largest drawing in the final week of the year continues to balloon.
Mega Millions is experiencing a surge in play, as the clock ticks to a close on 2022. After forecasting that tonight’s jackpot would be an estimated $640 million, the lottery said strong sales in the 45 states plus DC and US Virgin Islands where the game is played have increased the pot to a forecast $685 million.
Should a winner hit the jackpot, they will have the option of receiving the full pretax value paid out over 30 years through an annuity. The winner can also opt for a one-time pre-tax cash payment of roughly $347.8 million.
There have been 21 consecutive Mega Millions drawings without a winner. The last time the six winning numbers were hit came back on Oct. 14 when two lucky players, one in California and the other in Florida, split a $502 million prize.
At $685 million, tonight’s Mega Millions drawing is the 11th-largest lottery prize in US history. The top 10 is within sight, as a $687.8 million Powerball prize won in October 2021 currently ranks 10th.
To win the Mega Millions jackpot, a ticket must correctly identify the five drawn white balls out of a pool of 70, plus pick the winning gold Mega Ball out of a pool of 25. The odds of doing so are a puny one in a little more than 302.5 million.
Winner Credits Late Father
Millions of Mega Millions players tonight will test their luck with a $2 or $3 wager for a potential prize that could provide wealth for generations. To overcome such asinine odds of one in 302.5 million, many who win believe a higher power must have played a role.
Though he didn’t win the jackpot, one recent Mega Millions winner believes his late father helped deliver him some cash. A Maryland man who won a $40,000 prize last month during the Nov. 18 Mega Millions drawing told the Maryland Lottery that his dead dad intervened and encouraged him to play the lottery.
The 55-year-old man, who wished to remain anonymous as permitted under Maryland lottery rules, used the pseudonym “Wezzie Brunswick” to collect his cash. Brunswick said his father, who was an avid lottery player, spoke to him during his visit with a psychic.
Brunswick said the psychic read off a series of numbers that his father wanted him to play. He did, and it paid off. Brunswick’s Mega Millions ticket matched four of the white balls and the gold Mega Ball.
The payout for Mega Millions’ third-best prize is $10,000. But since Brunswick had purchased the optional $1 add-on Megaplier, and the Megaplier hit on 4x that night, his prize quadrupled to $40,000.
Mega Millions drawings are held every Tuesday and Friday night at 10:59 pm EST from the WSB-TV studios in Atlanta.
Mega Millions is hoping for an uninterrupted drawing, something that wasn’t the case in November, when Powerball pulled its six numbers for the more than $2 billion record prize. Powerball later explained that there was a delay in one of its participating lotteries submitting its ticket numbers ahead of the drawing.
Powerball is operated by the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL). Mega Millions is administered by a consortium of 12 state-run lotteries, most notably the Georgia Lottery, which facilitates the twice-weekly drawings.
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