For the first time in history, the Powerball® and Mega Millions® Lotto games have advertised jackpots above $300 million simultaneously. Because of these high jackpots, the Nebraska Lottery reminds customers to play responsibly.
A string of drawings without a jackpot winner have grown the estimated Mega Millions jackpot to its highest level since June 2016. The Mega Millions jackpot starts at $15 million and continues to grow by at least $5 million each drawing until it is won. There have been 29 consecutive drawings since May 2 without a jackpot winner. This run has grown the estimated jackpot for the Friday, August 11 drawing to $393 million or $246.5 million with the cash option selected. If won, this will be the fifth largest jackpot in Mega Millions history.
Powerball has also seen its jackpot grow over the last few months. There have been 17 drawings since June 14 without a jackpot winner, growing the estimated jackpot for the Saturday, August 12 drawing to $356 million or $224 million with the cash option selected. If won, Saturday’s jackpot will come in just below the $365 million jackpot won in Nebraska in February 2006 to become the 14th largest in Powerball history.
The largest Mega Millions jackpot on record occurred in March 2012 when three winners in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland split a $656 million jackpot. The largest Powerball jackpot on record occurred in January 2016 when three winners in California, Florida and Tennessee split a $1.586 billion jackpot.
Because of the high jackpots, the Nebraska Lottery encourages customers to play within their means. “It’s important for Nebraska Lottery players to remember that no matter how large the jackpot is, the odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 259 million, and the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292 million,” said Lottery Director Brian Rockey. “Your odds of winning remain the same, regardless of how many tickets are purchased or how many people play.” If you or someone you know has a problem with compulsive gambling, please call the Nebraska Problem Gambling Help Line toll free at 800-522-4700.