New year brings huge lottery jackpots: Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots climb to $400M+

Mega Millions and Powerball combined generic-118809318

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Have you purchased your lottery tickets yet?

The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery (ASL) says the jackpots are nearing the highest levels they have been for many months.

The Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots are now $432 million and $410 million, respectively.

According to ASL director Eric Hagler, the Mega Millions jackpot was hit seven times in 2019 but only once in 2020. Tuesday’s jackpot is the third highest it has been since January 1, 2019. The current roll is the second-longest since the game started in 2002.

The largest Mega Millions jackpot ever was $1.537 billion on October 23, 2018, with one winning ticket sold in South Carolina. ASL officials say the largest Mega Millions jackpot ever won in Arkansas was $177 million in 2017.

Since the Powerball jackpot was last hit on September 16, 2020, there have been 31 drawings in a row without a grand prize winner.

ASL is currently offering a special promotion called the 5-Buck Bundle. For $5, a player receives a Powerball ticket with Power Play, a Mega Millions ticket and a free Natural State Jackpot ticket.

“The 5-Buck Bundle gives a player three chances to win big jackpots,” Hagler said. “All tickets must be Quick Picks.”

Hagler said when sales increase from big jackpots, so do proceeds for scholarships, and that’s a win for everyone. Since 2009, ASL has raised more than $1 billion in proceeds which has helped fund more than 600,000 scholarships.

The ASL director encourages players to always check their numbers or scan their tickets even if they know they didn’t win the jackpot. There are multiple lower-level prizes to be won. If a player has four white ball numbers, they win $100. When the Power Play is purchased, the prize is multiplied by whatever the number is for that drawing.

The Arkansas lottery has sold 77 tickets to players that paid $1 million or more, which averages out to about seven per year.

Hagler said players have a one in 24.9 chance of winning a prize no matter if the jackpot is $40 million or $1 billion.

Hagler reminds players it only takes one ticket to win, so please play responsibly.

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