970 million. The cash option, which is favored by almost all winners, is $372 million. According to a release from Mega Millions, the last Mega Millions jackpot was won July 24, netting 11 co-workers a combined $543 million.

In early 2016, Powerball had a $1.6 billion grand prize, and that still stands as the highest lottery jackpot ever in the U.S.

While this insane total is easily enough to make it the highest Mega Millions jackpot ever, it would not be the biggest lottery grand prize in USA history.


"Ultimately, these games, they're all about the jackpots", Gordon Medenica, Maryland's lottery and gaming director, said Wednesday. The other significant change that helped fuel the jackpot growth was the increase in the Mega Millions ticket price, which doubled to $2. You can play Mega Millions in 46 localities: 44 states plus Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. When the jackpots flirt with the half-billion-dollar mark, state lotteries don't even feel the need to advertise, he said.

Young said she had played the lottery before, but "only when it's huge", she said. They're stuck at a miserable one in 302.5 million.


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