The Mega Millions jackpot continues to grow after no Americans won Friday night's drawing. The winning numbers were 3, 11, 12, 38, and 43, with gold Mega Ball 15, but no tick holders matched all six numbers. The next drawing is on Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 11 p.m. ET, with the jackpot valued at $850 million. Winners could take the cash option of $628.2 million.
This is already the third-largest prize in American lottery history, behind the only two-billion-dollar jackpots ever recorded. The world record holder was a Powerball jackpot at $1.586 billion on Jan. 13, 2016, coming in just ahead of the MegaMillions record of $1.537 billion, set on Oct. 23, 2018. The MegaMillions jackpot was the largest lottery prize ever won by a single ticket in world history since the Powerball record jackpot was split among three winners.
The Mega Millions jackpot has continued to climb since Sept. 15, when a Wisconsin ticket holder won the jackpot. Although there have been over 30.2 million winning tickets at all prize levels during the past 35 drawings, no one has won the jackpot. After the last drawing on Jan. 15, there were 4,682,795 winning tickets. Eight tickets matched the five white balls, earning the $1 million prize. Two were sold in New Jersey, and one each was sold in New York, Ohio, Wisconsin, California, Florida, and Michigan. There were five jackpot winners overall in 2020.
Mega Millions is played in 45 states, plus Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The only states where residents cannot buy Mega Millions tickets are Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah. The most recent state to start selling Mega Millions tickets was Mississippi, which started on Jan. 30, 2020. It did not take too long for Mississippi to see its first big winner, as a Gautier woman won $2 million in June. She matched all the white balls and paid an extra dollar for the Megaplier, the Sun-Herald reported at the time.
With the Mega Millions jackpot reaching such a high amount and the U.S. economy in tatters due to the coronavirus pandemic, many local officials warn residents to be wary of lottery scams. For example, the North Carolina Education Lottery issued a set of guidelines earlier this week, reports Fox8. The agency advised people never to give financial information upfront, never pay a fee before claiming a prize, and don't buy a supposed winning ticket from strangers. If you win a prize, you should also sign the back of the ticket immediately to be considered the owner of the prize.