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Powerball, Mega Millions jackpots grow after no big winners

Largest Mega Millions jackpots:
• $1.53 billion on Oct. 23, 2018
• $656 million on March 30, 2012
• $648 million on Dec. 17, 2013
• $543 million on July 24, 2018
• $536 million on July 8, 2016
• $533 million on March 30, 2018
• $522 million on June 7, 2019
• $451 million on Jan. 5, 2018
• $437 million on Jan. 1, 2019
Largest PowerBall jackpots:
• $1.586 billion on Jan. 13, 2016
• $768.4 million on March 27, 2019
• $758.7 million on Aug. 23, 2017
• $687.8 million on Oct. 27, 2018
• $590.5 million on May 18, 2013
• $587.5 million on Nov. 28, 2012
• $564.1 million on Feb. 11, 2015
• $559.7 Million on Jan. 6, 2018
• $487.0 Million on July 30, 2016

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Billions of dollars are up for grabs this week as jackpots for Mega Millions and the Powerball lotteries continued to grow after players did not win the top prize for months.

In all, nearly $1.4 billion is available: A $750 million jackpot is expected in Friday’s Mega Millions drawing, and the $550 million that was up for grabs in Powerball’s Wednesday night drawing will now become an estimated $640 million. Those totals rank as the second largest for the Mega Millions jackpot and the fifth largest for the Powerball.

It’s only the second time both of the national lottery games have topped $500 million.

Numbers for Wednesday night’s Powerball drawing were: 4-19-23-25-49 and a Powerball of 14.

While those numbers are catching the eyes of players across the country, they pale compared with the records of $1.53 billion in October 2018 for Mega Millions and $1.58 billion in January 2016 for the Powerball. Still, hopes of winning are high, as seen in the increase in ticket sales across Pennsylvania.

This week, Mega Millions sales in the state were up more than 700% compared with the same period last year, while Powerball sales were up 200%, according to Ewa Swope, press secretary for the Pennsylvania Lottery. By Wednesday, sales reached $2,430 per minute for Mega Millions and Megaplier and $4,776 per minute for the Powerball and Power Play.

“Ticket sales are increasing as the Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots increase,” Swope said. “As you might imagine, bigger jackpots certainly drive bigger sales.”

Money produced from those sales is split. Of each dollar, 65.5% goes toward winner prizes, 24.5% goes to senior programs, 7.4% goes to retailer and vendor commissions and 2.6% goes to operating expenses for the state lottery agency.

That amounted to about $1.14 billion for senior programs in the 2019-20 fiscal year, which ended June 30, according to the Pennsylvania Lottery website.

Lottery players have been vying for the top prize of Mega Millions and Powerball since September, the last time someone won the jackpot. For the Mega Millions, Friday’s drawing will be the 35th in the current run, or the longest roll in the game’s history.

During that time, both games have produced some winners, with 25.5 million Mega Millions tickets deemed winners at all prize levels and 41 worth $1 million or more. Similar number were recorded for the Powerball, with more than 24 million winning tickets sold since the last jackpot was awarded, including 24 tickets worth $1 million and 10 tickets worth $2 million.

Jackpot totals promoted by lotteries are the totals for those who opt for annuities paid out over 30 years. Those who choose the cash option receive less. For the Mega Millions jackpot, winners who choose the cash option would receive $550.6 million, while the Powerball winner would take home around $478 million.

Odds of reaching the top prize in both games are daunting, with chances of winning Mega Millions one in 302.5 million, and odds of winning the Powerball one in 292.2 million.

Both games are played in 45 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Powerball also is offered in Puerto Rico.

Megan Tomasic is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 724-850-1203, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Largest Mega Millions jackpots:
• $1.53 billion on Oct. 23, 2018
• $656 million on March 30, 2012
• $648 million on Dec. 17, 2013
• $543 million on July 24, 2018
• $536 million on July 8, 2016
• $533 million on March 30, 2018
• $522 million on June 7, 2019
• $451 million on Jan. 5, 2018
• $437 million on Jan. 1, 2019
Largest PowerBall jackpots:
• $1.586 billion on Jan. 13, 2016
• $768.4 million on March 27, 2019
• $758.7 million on Aug. 23, 2017
• $687.8 million on Oct. 27, 2018
• $590.5 million on May 18, 2013
• $587.5 million on Nov. 28, 2012
• $564.1 million on Feb. 11, 2015
• $559.7 Million on Jan. 6, 2018
• $487.0 Million on July 30, 2016

TribLIVE’s Daily and Weekly email newsletters deliver the news you want and information you need, right to your inbox.

Billions of dollars are up for grabs this week as jackpots for Mega Millions and the Powerball lotteries continued to grow after players did not win the top prize for months. In all, nearly $1.4 billion is available: A $750 million jackpot is expected in Friday’s Mega Millions drawing, and

Pennsylvania lottery mega millions

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Pennsylvania lottery mega millions PA iLottery, toll-free at 1-833-530-PLAY (7529) The Pennsylvania Lottery. Benefits Older Pennsylvanians. Every Day. 1200 Fulling Mill Road, Suite One, ]]>