Two big jackpots are up for grabs in this week’s Mega Millions® and Powerball® drawings. Because of these high jackpots, the Nebraska Lottery reminds customers to play responsibly.
A string of drawings without a jackpot winner has grown the estimated Mega Millions jackpot to its highest level since January. The Mega Millions jackpot starts at $40 million and continues to grow by at least $5 million each drawing until it is won. There have been 19 consecutive drawings since January 9 without a jackpot winner. This run has grown the estimated jackpot for the Friday, March 17 drawing to $345 million or $205.3 million with the cash option selected. This is the ninth-largest jackpot in the game's history.
Powerball has also seen its jackpot grow over the last few months. There have been 19 drawings since January 10 without a jackpot winner, growing the estimated jackpot for the Saturday, March 17 drawing to $455 million or $269.4 million with the cash option selected. This is the eighth-largest jackpot 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 302 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.