WASHINGTON — Lottery players will have another shot Tuesday night at a massive Mega Millions prize that ranks among the largest jackpots in U.S. history.
The estimated $1.58 billion prize has been gradually building for months thanks to 31 straight drawings without a jackpot winner. The last time someone won the game’s top prize was April 18.
Each drawing without a winner pushes the prize closer to the record $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot that someone in California won last year. The second largest in size was in 2016, when the Powerball jackpot reached a nearly identical amount of $1.586 billion. The estimated prize is already bigger than Mega Millions' previous highest jackpot of $1.537 billion, won in 2018.
Mega Millions jackpot winners are so rare thanks to odds of one in 302.6 million.
The $1.58 billion payout would go to a winner who opts for an annuity, doled out over 30 years. But people usually prefer a lump sum option, which for Tuesday's jackpot would be an estimated $783.3 million.
The money would be subject to federal taxes. Many states also tax lottery winnings.
Mega Millions is played in 45 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
What are the largest US lottery jackpots ever?
- $2.04 billion, Powerball, Nov. 8, 2022 (one ticket, from California)
- $1.586 billion, Powerball, Jan. 13, 2016 (three tickets, from California, Florida, Tennessee)
- $1.58 billion (estimated), Mega Millions
- $1.537 billion, Mega Millions, Oct. 23, 2018 (one ticket, from South Carolina)
- $1.348 billion Mega Millions, Jan. 13, 2023 (one ticket, from Maine)
- $1.337 billion, Mega Millions, July 29, 2022 (one ticket, from Illinois)
- $1.08 billion, Powerball, July 19, 2023 (one ticket, from California)
- $1.05 billion, Mega Millions, Jan. 22, 2021 (one ticket, from Michigan)
- $768.4 million, Powerball, March 27, 2019 (one ticket, from Wisconsin)
- $758.7 million, Powerball, Aug. 23, 2017 (one ticket, from Massachusetts)