The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 302.6 million, making them the highest odds of any other state or multi-state lottery game ever played in the United States. However, this means the jackpot can grow to surpass the billion-dollar mark with relative ease. The overall odds of winning any prize are 1 in 24, which is slightly better than that of Powerball, which are 1 in 24.87.
Unclaimed prizes are kept by the lottery jurisdiction. If a Grand Prize goes unclaimed, the money must be returned to all lotteries in proportion to their sales for the draw run. The lotteries then distribute the money, based on their own jurisdiction's laws, to other lottery games or to their jurisdiction's general fund, or otherwise as required by law.
Jump up ^ "Mega Millions jackpot reaches record $500 million". Komo News. Sinclair Interactive Media. March 28, 2012. Retrieved September 4, 2013. The jackpot was originally announced at $476 million early Wednesday morning but rampant ticket sales boosted the estimated payout to the $500 million mark. Tuesday night's jackpot was $363 million, fed by weeks of drawings without a top winner. It has rolled 18 times since Marcia Adams of College Park won $72 million in the Jan. 24 drawing. A winner could get $19.2 million a year for 26 years or a single payment of $359 million. The previous record jackpot in the Mega Millions game was $390 million in 2007, split by two winners in New Jersey and Georgia.
Wednesday’s jackpot might have been the second-biggest, but many expected it to actually surpass that $1.6 billion record if that lucky Massachusetts ticket-holder hadn’t hit on the right numbers. That’s because of what Kelly Tabor, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Lottery, calls “jackpot chasers,” casual players who rush out to buy a ticket when the jackpot gets big enough.
Powerball lottery draws are held every Wednesday and Saturday at 22h59 Eastern Time and are broadcast live. The results of each lotto draw are not official until they are audited by an accounting firm. There are nine prize tiers on the Powerball Lottery, with approximate prizes ranging from $4 - $1,000,000. Players' tickets for the US Powerball are purchased by our ticket purchasing offices based in Connecticut, USA.