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When was Mega Millions over $1 billion?

The Mega Millions lottery is one of the largest jackpot lottery games in the United States. It has created huge jackpots over the years, with the record currently standing at $1.537 billion, won in October 2018. Only four jackpots in Mega Millions history have ever exceeded the magical $1 billion mark. These massive jackpots understandably caused major excitement and media frenzy across the country.

The $1 Billion+ Mega Millions Jackpots

Here are the details on the four Mega Millions jackpots that have topped $1 billion:

October 2018: $1.537 Billion

The largest Mega Millions jackpot ever awarded was a whopping $1.537 billion on October 23, 2018. It was claimed by a single ticket holder in South Carolina. This remains the largest jackpot ever won on a single ticket in U.S. lottery history.

The winning numbers were 5, 28, 62, 65 and 70, plus the gold Mega Ball 5.

The massive prize was the result of 25 consecutive rollovers without a jackpot winner. Millions of people rushed to buy tickets for a chance at the billion dollar payday. Over 293 million tickets were sold for this draw alone across 44 states, Washington D.C. and the U.S Virgin Islands.

January 2021: $1.05 Billion

The second largest Mega Millions jackpot was over $1.05 billion on January 22, 2021. It was claimed by a four member lottery pool in Michigan who had played together for years.

The winning numbers were 4, 26, 42, 50 and 60, plus the gold Mega Ball 24.

This jackpot had slowly grown over 3 months after starting out at $20 million in September 2020. There were 37 consecutive rollovers before the billion dollar prize was finally won. Huge ticket sales across all participating states helped drive the jackpot ever higher.

July 2022: $1.337 Billion

The third place Mega Millions record was set on July 29, 2022 at $1.337 billion. One lucky player in Illinois was the sole jackpot winner.

The winning numbers were 13, 36, 45, 57 and 67, plus the gold Mega Ball 14.

This prize pool had also grown over 3 months after starting out at just $20 million in April 2022. There were 29 weekly rollovers before the jackpot reached ten digits. This billion dollar jackpot fueled Mega Millions ticket sales to unprecedented levels across the country.

October 2021: $1.05 Billion

The last Mega Millions jackpot to top $1 billion was on October 15, 2021 at $1.05 billion. It was claimed by a single ticket holder in Michigan who chose the cash option lump sum payment.

The winning numbers were 4, 26, 42, 50 and 60, plus the gold Mega Ball 24.

This prize started rolling over in April 2021 from an initial jackpot of $20 million. There were 25 weeks without a winner before it became a billion dollar jackpot. Huge ticket sales in the final days helped push the prize over the billion dollar threshold.

Other Large Mega Millions Jackpots

While only four jackpots have exceeded $1 billion, Mega Millions has created several other sizable nine-figure jackpots over the years:

Date Amount Winner Location
March 30, 2012 $656 million Kansas, Illinois, Maryland
December 17, 2013 $648 million California, Georgia
March 18, 2014 $414 million Florida, Maryland
August 22, 2017 $758.7 million Massachusetts
June 7, 2019 $522 million California

As you can see, Mega Millions has produced several massive jackpots in addition to the four that reached $1 billion. Even if the jackpot doesn’t quite reach ten digits, it is still life-changing amounts of money for most winners.

Why Mega Millions Jackpots Grow So Large

There are a few key reasons why Mega Millions is able to create such enormous jackpot amounts:

Low Odds of Winning

The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are incredibly low, at just 1 in 302.6 million. This makes it highly likely that there will be no jackpot winner for many weeks in a row. Each rollover causes the prize pool to grow larger and larger.

Ticket Sales Surge

As the advertised jackpot rises to huge amounts, there is extensive media coverage that sparks a surge in ticket sales across the country. For example, over $2.2 billion in tickets were sold for the October 2018 $1.537 billion jackpot. These soaring ticket sales result in even faster jackpot growth.

Population of Participating States

Mega Millions has participating members consisting of 47 local lotteries across 45 states, as well as Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The combined populations of these states represents over 300 million potential players. This huge potential player base contributes to the ability to generate giant jackpot amounts.

No Jackpot Cap

Unlike Powerball which introduced a jackpot cap in 2021, Mega Millions does not have a preset limit on how large the top prize can grow. This allows the advertised jackpot to rise to true astronomical figures during an extended streak without a winner. The only factors limiting the jackpot growth are ticket sales and probability.

Changes After the $1.537 Billion Jackpot

After the record $1.537 billion jackpot in October 2018, Mega Millions implemented some changes to the game’s format and rules. These changes were designed to reduce the odds of gigantic jackpots in the future.

Higher Ticket Price

The minimum ticket price was raised from $1 to $2 per play. This was intended to increase revenue while potentially slowing down the rate at which jackpots grow by dampening sales.

Change in Number Pool

The 5/70 base number pool expanded to 5/70 + 1/25 for the Mega Ball number. This meant lower odds of matching all six numbers. The overall odds of winning any prize was improved however.

Minimum Jackpot Raise

The minimum starting jackpot prize after a win was raised from $15 million to $20 million. This ensured jackpots would reach large amounts faster after each payout.

Maximum Rollovers Capped

A limit of 25 rollovers was introduced before a “must-win” draw is triggered under special rules to ensure a jackpot winner. This prevents indefinite rollovers without a winner.

shared the biggest jackpot in history at $1.586 billion.

Here are some key facts about the world record Powerball jackpot:

– The drawing was held on January 13, 2016.

– The jackpot had rolled over 19 times since the previous winner.

– The winning numbers were 4, 8, 19, 27, 34 and Powerball 10.

– Three tickets shared the enormous $1.586 billion prize.

– The tickets were sold in California, Florida and Tennessee.

– The California and Florida winners chose lump sum payments, while the Tennessee winner opted for an annuity.

– After taxes, the lump sums were about $327.8 million each in California and Florida.

– The Tennessee winner received around $533 million spread over 30 annual payments.

– The California ticket was purchased by a Chino Hills couple who owned a medical supply company.

– The Florida ticket was purchased by a woman in Melbourne Beach.

– The Tennessee ticket was held by 20 co-workers at a manufacturing plant who pooled their money.

This epic Powerball jackpot demonstrates how lottery jackpots continue reaching unprecedented levels in the modern era. Although the odds of matching all numbers are incredibly low, someone eventually gets lucky. The lure of instant millionaire status will likely always drive lottery fever when jackpots smash records.

Changes Mega Millions Made After Huge Jackpots

After Mega Millions awarded its two biggest jackpots over $1 billion in 2018 and 2021, changes were implemented to try preventing more massive jackpots.

Added a Starting Jackpot Cap

A starting jackpot cap of $20 million was introduced after big wins. Previously jackpots started lower at $15 million after a winner.

Instituted Jackpot Increases

Minimum jackpot increases were changed to at least $5 million after each draw without a winner. This ensured rapid growth to get big quicker.

Introduced Annuitized Payment Cap

Mega Millions now has a cap on the maximum annuitized jackpot prize. The recent $1.35 billion prize reached this limit, preventing further growth.

Increased Number Pool

The number field increased in October 2017 from 1-75 to 1-70 for main numbers. This decreased the probability of winning.

Megaplier Feature

Players can pay extra for the Megaplier option to multiply non-jackpot prizes. This helps increase revenue for lottery organizers.

Changed Ticket Price

Mega Millions doubled ticket pricing from $1 to $2 in October 2017. The higher price helps jackpots grow in size faster.

These changes made it more challenging to win Mega Millions, while increasing potential prize growth. Despite adjustments, Mega Millions has still continued producing huge jackpots.

Other Notable Large Jackpots

The four Mega Millions jackpots over $1 billion stand clearly above the rest. However, Mega Millions has generated many other top 10 all-time lottery jackpots:

– $656 million in 2012 won in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland.

– $648 million in 2013 won in California and Georgia.

– $543 million in 2018 won in California.

– $536 million in 2016 won in Indiana.

– $533 million in 2018 won in New Jersey.

– $522 million in 2019 won in California.

– $516 million in 2021 won in Pennsylvania.

– $451 million in 2021 won in New York.

– $437 million in 2019 won in New York.

– $426 million in 2018 won in California.

Mega Millions has produced more over $400 million+ jackpots than any other lottery game in the United States. It clearly holds the undisputed record for creating gigantic lottery jackpots.

How the Mega Millions Jackpot Grows So Large

Several key factors contribute to Mega Millions regularly smashing lottery jackpot records:

– Long odds of 1 in 302 million to win jackpot. This means likely repeated rollovers.

– Massive potential player populations in 45 participating states plus districts. Hundreds of millions of potential ticket buyers.

– Surging ticket sales as jackpots rise. Billion dollar pots spur frenzied ticket buying.

– Rapid minimum jackpot increases with each rollover per game rules. Quickly grows big.

– No advertised jackpot cap or limit like competing Powerball game has. Jackpots can grow without limit.

– Ability to pay jackpots over 29 years as an annuity or lump sum. Allows for even bigger headline prizes.

These dynamics enable Mega Millions to set new lottery jackpot records on a routine basis compared to other popular games. The lure of instant millionaire status creates intense public interest in winning tickets when the jackpot exceeds all records. There will likely be more history-making Mega Millions jackpots awarded in the future.

Media Frenzy Surrounding Billion Dollar Jackpots

Whenever Mega Millions hits a new record jackpot over $1 billion, it sparks an absolute media frenzy across the country.

– National and local news provide intensive coverage in the days leading up to the draw. Updates on the growing jackpot totals and ticket sales are widely reported. Profiles of past winners also circulate.

– Morning shows do live hits from outside lottery retailer locations. They interview hopeful ticket buyers and demonstrate the ticket purchase process.

– Newspapers and magazines publish guides on “what to do if you win.” Financial advice for navigating massive windfall payouts suddenly dominates the public discussion.

– Social media lights up with excited lottery hopefuls posting their ticket pictures and jackpot dreams. Memes and jokes about upcoming millionaire lifestyles go viral.

– Water cooler talk shifts to lottery pools being organized at offices, as coworkers try group purchasing strategies. Civic groups, churches and community organizations also unveil lottery pools.

– TV entertainment programs shift their focus to real-life lottery winners and their shocking jackpot stories. Speculation runs wild on how massive sums would change someone’s existence.

– Scammers try capitalizing on lottery hype by sending phishing emails pretending to be lottery officials. Security experts are forced to issue fraud warnings to protect naive ticket buyers.

The media frenzy surrounding historic lottery jackpots above $1 billion demonstrates how winning hundreds of millions instantly captivates the public consciousness unlike any other news. Dreams of limitless wealth create a fever pitch of excitement.


Mega Millions holds the current all-time lottery jackpot record of $1.537 billion set in October 2018. Only three other jackpots in the game’s history have topped the magic $1 billion mark. These billion dollar jackpots represent life-changing amounts of money, generating unprecedented public interest. Mega Millions is structured to facilitate ever-larger jackpots, with increased ticket costs and minimum rollover amounts. Despite long odds of winning, the possibility of instant enormous wealth will continue driving lottery fever to new heights when Mega Millions nears another billion dollar jackpot. The lure of riches beyond imagination is simply irresistible to many. Mega Millions has cemented its place as the undisputed leader in massive jackpot lottery games in America today.