Mega Millions® jackpot prize expands to $1 billion for tonight’s drawing

Published 2:19 pm Friday, January 22, 2021

With only one supersized multi-state jackpot left to play for, Texas Lottery® players have their sights set on their chances to win the rising Mega Millions® jackpot prize, which has been increased to an estimated annuitized $1 billion for the Friday, Jan. 22 drawing.

The new amount marks only the third time that a jackpot prize has reached at least $1 billion in U.S. lottery history and just the second time ever that the Mega Millions jackpot has reached that level.

The estimated cash value for tonight’s drawing is now an estimated $739.6 million. The growing jackpot is the result of 36 draws without a winner, the longest roll in game history.

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“Playing for large lottery jackpot prizes like the ones we have seen recently are an exciting form of entertainment and are fun for our players, but we want to urge them to play responsibly,” said Gary Grief, executive director of the Texas Lottery. “While it’s a thrill to dream about winning tonight’s Mega Millions jackpot prize, we encourage our players to play within their means and remind them that it only takes one ticket to win.”

Since the current Mega Millions jackpot run started on Sept. 18, 2020, three Texas Lottery players have won second-tier prizes of $1 million or larger, with all three wins coming since Dec. 25, 2020. Most recently, a Texas Lottery player won a second-tier Mega Millions prize of $1 million prize; the ticket was sold in Carrollton for the drawing held on Jan. 12.

Texas has had 13 Mega Millions jackpot prize winners since joining the game in 2003. Its most recent winner came in September 2019 when a Leander resident won an estimated annuitized $227 million prize. The claimant chose the cash value option and received $157,091,592 before taxes, the largest prize ever paid out to a single Texas Lottery player.

Friday’s Mega Millions jackpot is the largest since the Oct. 23, 2018 drawing when a South Carolina winner claimed a $1.537 billion prize; the largest in game history and the second-largest jackpot in world history.

Mega Millions is played by choosing five numbers from a field of 70 and one Mega Ball number from the second field of 25 numbers.

To win the Mega Millions jackpot, players must match all six numbers drawn including the Mega Ball. Players matching fewer numbers may not win the jackpot, but still walk away winners. Mega Millions offers a $20 Million starting jackpot and a second-tier (Match 5+0) prize of $1 million. By choosing the Megaplier® for $1 more per play, players can multiply their non-jackpot winnings by two, three, four or five times, winning as much as $5 million.

Drawings are broadcast each Tuesday and Friday at 10:12 p.m. CT. Ticket sales for the next Mega Millions drawing will close at 9:45 p.m. CT on Friday.

Texas Lottery players can purchase Mega Millions tickets at more than 20,000 Texas Lottery retailers across the state. The retailer that sells a jackpot-winning Mega Millions or Powerball ticket is eligible to receive up to a $1 million retailer bonus.