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Iowa (IA) Mega Millions Numbers & Results

Check Iowa (IA) Mega Millions winning numbers and results, monitor IA lottery jackpots, and see the latest news on all your favorite IA lottery games with our mobile lottery app!

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Latest Iowa Mega Millions Results

Mega Millions | $20,000,000

Mega Millions | $1,000,000,000

Mega Millions | $865,000,000

Mega Millions | $750,000,000

Mega Millions | $625,000,000

Mega Millions | $520,000,000

Mega Millions | $432,000,000

Mega Millions | $401,000,000

Mega Millions | $376,000,000

Iowa Mega Millions Prize Amounts

Numbers Correct Prize
5 of 5 w/ Mega Ball Jackpot
5 of 5 $1,000,000
4 of 5 w/ Mega Ball $10,000
4 of 4 $500
3 of 5 w/ Mega Ball $200
3 of 5 $10
2 of 5 w/ Mega Ball $10
1 of 5 w/ Mega Ball $4
0 of 5 w/ Mega Ball $2

Iowa Mega Millions Megaplier Prize Amounts

Numbers Correct Megaplier 2X Megaplier 3X Megaplier 4X Megaplier 5X
5 of 5 $2,000,000 $3,000,000 $4,000,000 $5,000,000
4 of 5 w/ Megaplier $20,000 $30,000 $40,000 $50,000
4 of 5 $1,000 $1,500 $2,000 $2,500
3 of 5 w/ Megaplier $400 $600 $800 $1,000
3 of 5 $20 $30 $40 $50
2 of 5 w/ Megaplier $20 $30 $40 $50
1 of 5 w/ Megaplier $8 $12 $16 $20
0 of 5 w/ Megaplier $4 $6 $8 $10

Iowa Mega Millions FAQs

Can I buy a IA Mega Millions ticket online?

If you’re in Texas, California, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oregon, Washington or Pennsylvania you can purchase Mega Millions tickets through Lottery.com at play.lottery.com!

When is the Iowa Mega Millions?

Iowa Mega Millions drawings take place twice a week on Tuesday and Friday nights.

What time is the Iowa Mega Millions drawing?

What is the IA Mega Millions jackpot?

Mega Millions jackpots roll-over until there is a winner or multiple winners. You can find the latest Iowa Mega Millions jackpot amounts here on the Lottery.com Iowa Mega Millions Jackpots page.

Did anyone win the IA Mega Millions?

When Mega Millions resets to the minimum jackpot, it’s an indication that one or more players won in the most recent drawing.

What are the IA Mega Millions winning numbers?

View the latest Mega Millions winning numbers in the Lottery.com app or on the Lottery.com website following each drawing here on the Iowa Mega Millions Results page.

What are the odds of winning?

Higher than you think! The odds of winning a prize are 1 in 24.

Information on responsible gaming and problem gaming is available here. Or call 1-800-522-4700.

Get the latest winning numbers (results) and jackpots for IOWA MEGA MILLIONS and all of your other favorite Iowa lottery games.

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Mega Millions

January 23, 2021

Both Huge Jackpots Have Now Been Won

The giant Mega Millions® and Powerball® jackpots have now both been won. The $1 billion jackpot in Friday’s Mega Millions drawing was won by a ticket purchased in Michigan, while Wednesday’s $731.1 million Powerball jackpot was won by a ticket in Maryland.

This was first time that the games’ jackpots had simultaneously topped the $700 million mark.

Drawing Details, Iowa Tickets That Won Prizes

A total of 50,106 plays purchased by Iowa Lottery players won prizes in Friday’s Mega Millions drawing.

The winning numbers in Friday’s drawing were: 4-26-42-50-60 and Mega Ball 24. The Megaplier number was 2.

In Wednesday’s Powerball drawing, 41,368 plays purchased in Iowa won prizes, so between the two games, Iowa players won prizes on more than 91,000 plays in the latest drawings.

Iowa Lottery players bought more than $2.7 million in Mega Millions tickets for Friday’s drawing, including more than $1.8 million in tickets on Friday alone. Given the ongoing COVID-19 health emergency, those figures are understandably both well down from sales totals during other recent times with giant jackpots.

The average Mega Millions purchase on Friday in Iowa remained about $6, or three plays per ticket. Lottery officials were pleased that Iowans had fun playing and didn’t go overboard.

Easy Pick vs. Your Own Numbers

The vast majority of tickets being purchased in Powerball and Mega Millions are easy picks, meaning that the player opted to have the lottery terminal randomly select the numbers involved. Nearly 94 percent of the plays purchased for Friday’s Mega Millions drawing were easy picks.

The odds of winning are the same for every ticket in the games, whether the player buys an easy pick or chooses their own numbers. There are more easy-pick winners simply because most of the tickets being purchased are easy picks.

The ‘Longest Roll’

The length of time that a jackpot continues to grow is often referred to as a roll, meaning that it keeps rolling without being hit. Powerball and Mega Millions both just ended their longest rolls ever. Friday’s drawing was the 37th since the Mega Millions jackpot had last been won on Sept. 15 while Wednesday’s drawing was the 36th since the Powerball jackpot had last been won Sept. 16.

January 21, 2021

Powerball Jackpot Won, Mega Millions Climbs Even Higher

UPDATE on Friday, Jan. 22: The jackpot for tonight’s Mega Millions drawing has been raised even further, now at an estimated $1 billion annuity. The new details are included here.

The long, fun roll for the Powerball® jackpot has ended, while the giant prize in Mega Millions® is still in the stratosphere.

Last night’s $731.1 million Powerball jackpot was won with a ticket purchased in Maryland. But the Mega Millions jackpot continues on, currently standing at an estimated $1 billion annuity, $739.6 million lump-sum option for that game’s next drawing at 10 p.m. Friday.

Drawing Details, Iowa Tickets That Won Prizes

A total of 41,368 plays purchased by Iowa Lottery players won prizes in last night’s Powerball drawing, ranging from $4 up to $50,000.

The $50,000-winning ticket was just one number away from having a share of Wednesday’s jackpot, matching four of the first five numbers and the Powerball. That ticket was purchased at Casey’s, 1200 Fifth Ave. NE in Independence.

The winning numbers in last night’s Powerball drawing were: 40-53-60-68-69 and Powerball 22. The Power Play number was 3.

In Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing, 35,826 plays in Iowa won prizes, so between the two games, Iowa players have won prizes on more than 77,000 plays so far just this week.

Iowa Lottery players bought more than $2.4 million in Powerball tickets for last night’s drawing, including more than $1 million in tickets yesterday alone. Given the ongoing COVID-19 health emergency, those figures are understandably both well down from sales totals during other recent times with giant jackpots.

The average Powerball purchase yesterday in Iowa remained about $6, or three plays per ticket. Lottery officials are glad to see that Iowans are having fun playing but haven’t gone overboard.

Huge Numbers For Easy Picks

The vast majority of tickets being purchased in both games are easy picks, meaning that the players opted to have the lottery terminal randomly select the numbers involved. More than 91 percent of the plays purchased for last night’s Powerball drawing were easy picks, while nearly 94 percent of the tickets purchased for Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing were easy picks.

The odds of winning are the same for every ticket in the games, whether the player buys an easy pick or chooses their own numbers. There are more easy-pick winners simply because most of the tickets being purchased are easy picks.

Anecdotes About Less Pool Play

A new phenomenon being seen in Iowa during this big jackpot run appears to be an offshoot of so many people working from home during the COVID-19 health emergency.

Anecdotally, Iowa Lottery retailers report they’re not seeing as many players buying tickets in office pools or with groups of friends and neighbors. Remaining socially distanced means a lot of folks aren’t gathering in those central spots where they would have joined in pool play.

The ‘Longest Roll’

The length of time that a jackpot continues to grow is often referred to as a roll, meaning that it keeps rolling without being hit. Powerball just ended its longest roll ever: Wednesday’s drawing was the 36th since that game’s jackpot had been won on Sept. 16 with a ticket purchased in New York.

The Mega Millions jackpot also is on its longest roll – and it’s still going! Friday’s drawing will be the 37th since the Mega Millions jackpot was last won on Sept. 15 with a ticket purchased in Wisconsin.

What’s That About ‘Coverage’?

By tracking sales, lottery officials can estimate how many of all the possible combinations have been purchased for a particular drawing. The coverage estimate for Friday’s Mega Millions drawing is about 40 percent. (The odds of winning the jackpot in Mega Millions are about 1 in 302.6 million because that’s how many ways the numbers in the game can be combined in a play.)

January 20, 2021

All The Latest About Those Jackpots!

Here are the latest details about the giant jackpots!

Nobody won the jackpot in last night’s Mega Millions® drawing, so that giant prize climbs even further, to an estimated $970 million annuity, $716.3 million lump-sum option for the game’s drawing on Friday. That’s the second-largest prize in the history of the game and the third-largest jackpot ever offered in the United States.

And the Powerball® jackpot currently stands at an estimated $730 million annuity, $546 million lump-sum option for its drawing tonight. That’s the fourth-largest prize in Powerball history and the fifth-largest U.S. jackpot.

This is the first time the games’ jackpots have simultaneously topped the $700 million mark. But the record for a lottery prize remains the Powerball jackpot of nearly $1.59 billion that was split in January 2016 by winners in California, Florida and Tennessee.

Last Night’s Drawing Details, Iowa Tickets That Won Prizes

The winning numbers in last night’s Mega Millions drawing were: 10-19-26-28-50 and Mega Ball 16. The Megaplier number was 2.

A total of 35,826 plays purchased by Iowa Lottery players won prizes in last night’s drawing.
Iowa Lottery players bought more than $2 million in Mega Millions tickets for the drawing, including more than $1 million in tickets yesterday alone. Given the ongoing COVID-19 health emergency, those figures are understandably both well down from sales totals during other recent years with giant jackpots.

Here is another number we watch closely: The average Mega Millions purchase yesterday in Iowa remained about $6, or three plays per ticket. We’re glad to see that Iowans are having fun playing, but they aren’t going overboard.

Now The ‘Longest Roll’

The length of time that a jackpot continues to grow is often referred to as a roll, meaning that it keeps rolling without being hit. Friday’s drawing will be the 37th since the Mega Millions jackpot was last won on Sept. 15 with a ticket purchased in Wisconsin. This is now the longest Mega Millions jackpot roll.

Powerball also is on its longest roll. Tonight’s drawing is the 36th since that game’s jackpot was last won on Sept. 16 with a ticket purchased in New York.

Easy Pick vs. Your Own Numbers

Nearly 94 percent of the tickets purchased for last night’s Mega Millions drawing were easy picks, meaning that the players opted for the lottery terminal to randomly select the numbers involved.

We know that some people wonder which option has a better chance of winning: easy picks or tickets where the player chooses the numbers. The answer? The odds are the same for every ticket in the game. But there are more easy-pick winners simply because most of the tickets purchased are easy picks.

Details About ‘Coverage’

By tracking sales, lottery officials can estimate how many of all the possible combinations have been purchased for a particular drawing. (The odds of winning the jackpot in Powerball are about 1 in 292.2 million because there are about 292.2 million ways that the numbers in the game can be combined to make a play. And in Mega Millions, the odds of winning the jackpot are about 1 in 302.6 million because that’s how many ways the numbers in that game can be combined in a play.)

Nearly 30 percent of the combinations had been purchased for the last Powerball drawing on Saturday (Jan. 16). And, the coverage estimate for this coming Friday’s Mega Millions drawing is about 40 percent.

A Few Gentle Reminders

We’ve also got these gentle reminders when it comes to buying tickets for upcoming jackpot drawings:

  • Remember that the deadline in Iowa to buy tickets for the Mega Millions and Powerball drawings is at 8:59 p.m. the night of the drawing. If you buy a ticket after that deadline, it will be for an upcoming drawing and you won’t be in the running for that night’s giant prize.
  • And, please remember to play responsibly. You only need one ticket to have a chance to win.
  • We also want everyone to be safe and continue following social distancing guidelines when you’re out and about. Think about buying your tickets if you’re already out running errands rather than making a special trip to get them.

January 17, 2021

Mega Millions And Powerball Push Even Higher

UPDATE on Tuesday, Jan. 19: The jackpot for tonight’s Mega Millions drawing has been raised even further. The new details are included here.

The Mega Millions® and Powerball® jackpots have made it through another round of drawings and are in the Top 5 for each game. Mega Millions has the second-largest prize in the history of that game, while Powerball now has the fourth-largest prize in that game.

Three Iowa tickets – one in Mega Millions and two in Powerball – were just one number away from having at least a share of this past weekend’s jackpots and each won a sizeable prize.

This is the first time the jackpots have simultaneously topped the $700 million mark.

Mega Millions has the next drawing up, at 10 p.m. Tuesday. Its jackpot now stands at an estimated $865 million annuity, $638.8 million lump-sum option. The Mega Millions jackpot was last won on Sept. 15 with a ticket purchased in Wisconsin, and it hasn’t been this big for more than two years.

Powerball’s jackpot now stands at an estimated $730 million annuity, $546 million lump-sum option for its next drawing at 9:59 p.m. Wednesday. The game’s top prize was last won Sept. 16 with a ticket purchased in New York, and it hasn’t been this big for nearly two years.

Iowa Tickets That Came Close This Weekend

Three Iowa tickets were just one number away from a jackpot this weekend.

A ticket purchased at an eastern Iowa convenience store was just one number away from Friday’s Mega Millions jackpot, matching four of the first five numbers and the Mega Ball. That ticket, which won a $10,000 prize, was purchased at Kwik Star, 803 Seventh Ave. in Camanche.

And two Iowa tickets were just one number away from Saturday’s Powerball jackpot. They each won a prize of $50,000 by matching four of the first five numbers and the Powerball. They were purchased at Kwik Star, 3350 U.S. Highway 71 South in Spirit Lake; and Kum & Go, 2303 Muscatine Ave. in Iowa City.

The three prizes must be claimed directly from the Iowa Lottery. With its offices closed on weekends and on Monday in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, Tuesday is the earliest that the prizes can be claimed.

What’s That About ‘Coverage’?

By tracking sales, lottery officials can estimate how many of all the possible combinations have been purchased for a particular drawing. (The odds of winning the jackpot in Powerball are about 1 in 292.2 million because there are about 292.2 million ways that the numbers in the game can be combined to make a play. And in Mega Millions, the odds of winning the jackpot are about 1 in 302.6 million because that’s how many ways the numbers in the game can be combined in a play.)

Nearly 30 percent of the combinations were purchased in Saturday’s Powerball drawing. And, the coverage estimate for Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing is about 36 percent.

General Pointers

Remember that the deadline in Iowa to buy tickets for the Mega Millions and Powerball drawings is at 8:59 p.m. the night of the drawing. If you buy a ticket after that deadline, it will be for an upcoming drawing and you won’t be in the running for that night’s giant prize.

And, please remember to play responsibly. You only need one ticket to have a chance to win.

We also want everyone to be safe and continue following social distancing guidelines when you’re out and about. Think about buying your tickets if you’re already out running errands so you don’t have to make a special trip to get them.

(I’ve posted lots of other jackpot details here on the blog this month, so feel free to check those out. I’m doing my best to keep providing new angles as the jackpots continue to grow.)

January 14, 2021

Mega Millions and Powerball Jackpots Now Both In The Top Five

They just keep rollin’! The jackpots in Mega Millions® and Powerball® continue to grow, with both now in the Top 5 for each game.

The Mega Millions® jackpot is currently the second largest in the history of that game. Not to be left out, Powerball® has the fifth-largest jackpot in that game.

Mega Millions has the next drawing up, at 10 p.m. tomorrow. Its jackpot currently stands at an estimated $750 million annuity, $550.6 million lump-sum option. The Mega Millions jackpot was last won on Sept. 15 with a ticket purchased in Wisconsin, and it hasn’t been this big for more than two years.

The next Powerball drawing will be at 9:59 p.m. Saturday. The game’s jackpot currently stands at an estimated $640 million annuity, $478.7 million lump-sum option. Powerball’s top prize was last won Sept. 16 with a ticket purchased in New York, and it hasn’t been this big for more than four years.

How Close Are We To The Records?

While the jackpots have both been growing for months, there’s still a lot of room to go before they would reach the overall record amounts.

Powerball holds the current record for a U.S. lottery prize. That jackpot of $1.586 billion was won in the drawing on Jan. 13, 2016, split by three tickets in California, Florida and Tennessee.

The largest jackpot in Mega Millions is close behind. That prize of $1.537 billion was won in the drawing on Oct. 23, 2018, by a ticket purchased in South Carolina.

Easy Pick vs. Your Own Numbers

There is debate about which option has a better chance of winning: an easy-pick ticket where the lottery terminal randomly selects the numbers involved, or a ticket where the player chooses the numbers. The answer? The odds are the same for every ticket in the game. There are more easy-pick winners because most tickets purchased are easy picks. In recent drawings, for example, more than 90 percent of the plays purchased in Iowa were easy picks.

Annuity vs. Lump-Sum Option

The jackpot winner gets to choose whether to claim the prize in annuitized payments over time or in the lump-sum option. Lotteries give estimates for both amounts in the lead-up to the drawings. The lump-sum value is the amount of money on hand from the sale of tickets in the game. The annuitized value is the amount the winner would receive in graduated payments over time. If you are buying tickets as part of a group that wins a jackpot, the entire group must decide on one option. Some members of the group can’t choose the lump sum while others choose annuity.

(I’ve posted other jackpot updates here on the blog this week, and those earlier posts include additional details you may also want check out. I’m doing my best to keep providing new angles for us all to consider as the jackpots continue to grow.)

January 13, 2021

All The Latest: Mega Millions Keeps Growing, Powerball Drawing Tonight

The Mega Millions® jackpot has made it through another drawing and is now the 2nd-largest prize in the history of that game. Not to be left out, the Powerball® jackpot is currently the 9th-largest in that game.

Details About The Next Drawings

Powerball has the next drawing up, at 9:59 p.m. tonight. The Powerball jackpot currently stands at an estimated $550 million annuity, $411.4 million lump-sum option. The game’s top prize was last won Sept. 16 with a ticket purchased in New York, and it hasn’t been this big for more than four years.

And, nobody won last night’s giant Mega Millions jackpot, so it has grown even further. It now stands at an estimated $750 million annuity, $550.6 million lump-sum option for its next drawing at 10 p.m. Friday. With sales going strong across the country, it’s likely that amount will increase again before the drawing occurs. The Mega Millions jackpot was last won on Sept. 15 with a ticket purchased in Wisconsin, and it hasn’t been this big for more than two years.

This is just the second time that the jackpots have simultaneously topped the $500 million mark. The first time that happened was in October 2018 when the Mega Millions jackpot reached a record amount in that game of more than $1.5 billion.

Why Don’t You Just Divide It Up?

We’ve heard this week from some folks who say that with the jackpots this high, the money should just be divided up among more winners. A couple details about that: Overall sales in the games would appear demonstrate a different mindset. Sales have always followed the jackpots up, so it seems that a whole bunch of folks do want a chance at a giant prize.

And, the rules in Powerball and Mega Millions don’t speak to the jackpots being divided up. Lotteries couldn’t just decide to do something different this time around – people have already purchased tickets under the current rules. We do pay attention to input and ideas, though, so please keep the feedback coming.

For Newcomers (Or Those Needing A Refresher)

Giant jackpots attract the attention of a lot of first-timers and bring occasional players into the mix as well. If you need a refresher or crash course, the Iowa Lottery keeps how-to-play videos on its website to give everyone the key details in just a couple minutes.

Keep Your Group Play Hassle-Free

We also see people pooling their money to buy tickets together, whether at work or with family and neighbors. And we’ve had groups win prizes in the past that then needed to go back through their own records to figure out just who was in the money.

We have a list of reminders on our website to help you keep group play hassle free. Please check them out, especially if you’re the person buying tickets for your group.

General Pointers

Remember that the deadline in Iowa to buy tickets for the Mega Millions and Powerball drawings is at 8:59 p.m. the night of the drawing. If you buy a ticket after that deadline, it will be for an upcoming drawing and you won’t be in the running for that night’s giant prize.

And, please remember to play responsibly. You only need one ticket to have a chance to win. We also want everyone to be safe and follow social distancing guidelines when you’re out and about. Think about buying your tickets if you’re already out running errands so you don’t have to make a special trip to get them.

January 10, 2021

All The Latest: The Powerball and Mega Millions Jackpots Both In Top 10

UPDATE on Tuesday, Jan. 12: The jackpot for tonight’s Mega Millions drawing has been raised further. The new details are included here.

The Mega Millions® and Powerball® jackpots are both now in the Top 10 for each game, with a combined total of more than $1 billion.

Mega Millions has the next drawing up, at 10 p.m. Tuesday. The Mega Millions jackpot has been raised again and now stands at an estimated $625 million annuity, $458.8 million lump-sum option. That is the fourth-largest jackpot in Mega Millions history. The game’s jackpot was last won on Sept. 15 with a ticket purchased in Wisconsin, and it hasn’t been this big for more than two years.

The next Powerball drawing happens at 9:59 p.m. Wednesday. The Powerball jackpot currently stands at an estimated $550 million annuity, $411.4 million lump-sum option. That is the ninth largest jackpot in Powerball history. The game’s top prize was last won on Sept. 16 with a ticket purchased in New York, and it hasn’t been this big for more than four years.

This is just the second time that the jackpots have simultaneously topped the $500 million mark. The first time that happened was in October 2018 when the Mega Millions jackpot reached a record amount for that game of more than $1.5 billion.

When the jackpots are this large, we often see people deciding to buy tickets together, whether as part of an office pool or with friends and neighbors. The Iowa Lottery keeps a list of reminders on our website to help your keep group play hassle free. Among them: Keep a careful list of who puts in money to buy tickets in your pool, and how much they contributed. And, send a photo of your group’s tickets to all pool members before the drawing so everyone can see the details involved.

Remember that the deadline in Iowa to buy tickets for the Mega Millions and Powerball drawings is at 8:59 p.m. the night of the drawing. If you buy a ticket after the deadline, it will be for an upcoming drawing, and you would not be in the running for that night’s giant prize.

With all the weight and pressure we’ve been feeling during the ongoing public-health emergency, maybe it’s nice to have something like these jackpots to think about and take a break to do some daydreaming. But as we at the Iowa Lottery have said so many times through the years, remember to play smart and be informed. It only takes one ticket for a chance to win.

And to all lottery players, please be safe and continue following social distancing guidelines when you’re out and about. Think about buying your tickets if you’re already out running errands so you don’t have to make a special trip to get them. First and foremost, we want everyone to stay safe during the ongoing health emergency.

We also have gotten questions from the “plan aheaders” out there – those folks who want to know what to expect if they win one of the giant jackpots. We’ve got a video about that, which covers everything from the taxes involved to what you would need to do to claim the prize. Check that out here.

January 07, 2021

Mega Millions & Powerball Jackpots Combined Are Pushing $1 Billion

The jackpots in Mega Millions® and Powerball® continue their way up and are both now in the Top 10 for each game. The two giant jackpots combined are pushing $1 billion, with the Mega Millions prize amount raised earlier today.

The estimated Mega Millions jackpot for that game’s next drawing tomorrow night now stands at an estimated $520 million annuity, $383.4 million lump-sum option. That’s the 8 th -largest jackpot in the history of the game.

Powerball is nearly as big. Its next drawing is Saturday night, and the jackpot currently stands at an estimated $470 million annuity, $362.7 million lump-sum option. That makes it the 10 th largest jackpot in the history of the game.

Both jackpots have been growing for nearly an identical length of time. Powerball was last won in its drawing on Sept. 15, while Mega Millions was last won on Sept. 16. And now that the prizes are really getting up there, sales are picking up across the country.

This is only the third time that the two jackpots have topped $450 million at the same time.

But like so much else these days, the jackpots have been impacted by the COVID-19 emergency. The jackpots are primarily sales driven, and for months now, folks in wide swaths of the country haven’t been able to run errands or buy everyday items (including lotto tickets) like they normally might in a non-pandemic time. That’s kept the jackpots in both games tamped down. And when the jackpots are lower, sales overall in the games are lower. It can become a bit of a repeating cycle.

So, it’s interesting that both jackpots are on a roll right now, and they’re really close in amount. Hopefully this can be something lighthearted to help give everyone a break to just daydream for awhile. And as we’ve said so many times through the years, remember to play responsibly. It only takes one ticket for a chance to win.

Remember that the deadline in Iowa to buy tickets for the Mega Millions and Powerball drawings is at 8:59 p.m. the night of the drawing. If you buy a ticket after that deadline, it will be for an upcoming drawing and you won’t be in the running for that night’s giant prize.

January 04, 2021

For Only The Third Time: Jackpots Simultaneously Top $400 Million

UPDATE on Wednesday, Jan. 6: With no jackpot winner in Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing, that giant prize has risen further. Powerball’s drawing is tonight! The new details are included here.

Something pretty rare is happening right now in Powerball® and Mega Millions®. For just the third time ever, the games’ jackpots have simultaneously topped $400 million.

The Mega Millions jackpot now stands at an estimated $490 million annuity, $372.3 million lump-sum option for its drawing on Friday. The game’s jackpot was last won on Sept. 15 with a ticket purchased in Wisconsin, and it hasn’t been this big for six months. It had reached $410 million in the drawing on June 9 when it was won with a ticket in Arizona.

The next Powerball drawing happens at 9:59 p.m. Wednesday. The Powerball jackpot currently stands at an estimated $410 million annuity, $316.4 million lump-sum option. The game’s top prize was last won on Sept. 16 with a ticket purchased in New York. And it hasn’t been this big for nearly a year. The jackpot had reached $396.9 million when it was won in the drawing on Jan. 29 with a ticket in Florida.

Like so much else these days, the jackpots in both games have been impacted by the COVID-19 emergency. The jackpots are primarily sales driven, and for months now, folks in wide swaths of the country haven’t been able to run errands or buy everyday items (including lotto tickets) like they normally might in a non-pandemic time. That’s kept the jackpots in both games tamped down. And when the jackpots are lower, sales overall in the games are lower. It can become a bit of a repeating cycle.

So, it’s interesting that both jackpots are on a roll right now, and they’re really close in amount. Hopefully this can be something lighthearted to help give everyone a break to have some fun daydreaming during this trying time. And as we’ve said so many times through the years, remember to play responsibly. It only takes one ticket for a chance to win.

Here’s something we’re still watching during the current jackpot run: Human beings procrastinate about lots of things, and that applies to lottery tickets, too. The day of the drawing in Mega Millions and Powerball always sees the highest sales, and in Iowa, the busiest stretch has usually been from about 4 to 6 p.m. that day as folks left work and ran errands on the way home. But with so many people working from home right now, we’re still tracking the numbers to see if purchasing patterns will have changed this time around. The commute home from work just doesn’t exist in many instances now.

Remember that the deadline in Iowa to buy tickets for the Mega Millions and Powerball drawings is 8:59 p.m. the night of the drawing. If you buy a ticket after that deadline, it will be for an upcoming drawing and you won’t be in the running for that night’s giant prize.

December 21, 2020

The Back-and-Forth Jackpot Race Is Still Going!

As 2020 draws to a close, a friendly competition has sprung up between the nation’s big-jackpot games, with Powerball® and Mega Millions® going back and forth for which one has the highest top prize. The games’ jackpots have both been growing for nearly the same length of time – since mid-September – and it’s become a bit of a race to see which big prize will be won first.

Mega Millions has the next drawing, which happens tomorrow night. The game’s jackpot stands at an estimated $330 million annuity, $252.8 million lump-sum option. The jackpot was last won on Sept. 15 with a ticket purchased in Wisconsin, and it hasn’t been this big for six months. It had reached $410 million in the drawing on June 9 when it was won with a ticket in Arizona.

The next Powerball drawing will be Wednesday night. That game’s jackpot stands at an estimated $321 million annuity, $247.1 million lump-sum option. Powerball’s top prize was last won on Sept. 16 with a ticket purchased in New York. And it hasn’t been this big for nearly a year. The jackpot had reached $396.9 million when it was won in the drawing on Jan. 29 with a ticket in Florida.

Like so much else these days, both jackpots have definitely been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The games’ jackpot amounts are driven by sales, and for much of this year, folks in wide swaths of the country haven’t been able to run errands or buy everyday items (including lotto tickets) as they normally might in a non-pandemic time.

That’s tamped down the jackpot amounts in both games. And when the jackpots are lower, sales overall in the games are lower, too. It becomes a bit of a repeating cycle, and that’s been the case for much of this year.

So, it’s interesting that both jackpots are on a roll right now, and they’re really close in amount. We’re calling them dueling jackpots, and it will be fun to see which one will go out first!

There was a close call here in Iowa on Saturday. Someone who bought a ticket in central Iowa was just one number away from winning at least a share of Saturday’s Powerball jackpot. The ticket ended up winning a $50,000 prize by matching four of the first five numbers and the Powerball. That ticket was purchased at Casey’s, 870 NE Alice’s Road in Waukee.

November 04, 2020

Player Question: Why Do Some Numbers Come Up More Often As The Multiplier?

A player recently emailed us with a question about the All Star bonus option in the Lotto America game, and since the same concept applies to the multiplier option in Powerball and Mega Millions, I’ll cover all three of them here.

The player wondered why the number 2 comes up more often as the All Star Bonus in Lotto America. You may already know that the Bonus option can be added to a play in the Lotto America game for an extra $1, and it will multiply any prize you win. The All Star Bonus is similar to the Power Play option in Powerball and the Megaplier option in Mega Millions.

The answer to the player’s question is found in the game rules, which are available on our website as part of the details for each game.

The All Star Bonus option can multiply a Lotto America prize (except the jackpot) by 2, 3, 4 or 5. So, for example, if your ticket matches the five white balls in a drawing but misses the Star Ball, you’d win a $20,000 prize. But if you’ve added the All Star Bonus option to your ticket and the Bonus number that night is 3, your prize will be multiplied to $60,000.

In the Powerball game, the Power Play option can multiply prizes (except the jackpot and the Match 5 prize) by 2, 3, 4, 5 or 10 times. And in Mega Millions, the Megaplier option can multiply prizes except the jackpot by 2, 3, 4 or 5 times.

But when it comes to Lotto America specifically, why does the number 2 come up more often as the multiplier? It’s due to the universe of numbers available to be selected as the All Star Bonus. There are 32 numbers in the All Star Bonus pool. Of them, 15 are 2s, 10 are 3s, 4 are 4s, and 3 are 5s. Here is what that looks like in table form:
32 Total Numbers In All Star Bonus Pool
2X = 15
3X = 10
4X = 4
5X = 3

So, does it stand to reason that the All Star Bonus number would come up more often as 2 or 3? Yes. But the other multipliers also have a shot. It’s the same concept for the multipliers in our other big-jackpot games.

Here are the details for the Power Play option in Powerball:
43 Total Numbers In Power Play Pool
2X = 24
3X = 13
4X = 3
5X = 2
10X = 1

And here are the details for the Megaplier option in Mega Millions:
15 Total Numbers In Megaplier Pool
2X = 5
3X = 6
4X = 3
5X = 1

September 17, 2020

Player Question: Why Is There A Sales Cut-Off Before A Drawing?

A player who emailed us with questions about our lotto drawings unfortunately had some conspiracy theories to share as well, so I’m addressing those here in case the same rumor has made it way to you.

The player wondered why there is a sales cut-off time before the drawings in games like Powerball® and Mega Millions®. The player said he wants people to be able to buy tickets right up until the time of the drawing, arguing that doing so would eliminate the rumored possibility he’s heard that drawing officials sometimes spray a substance on the drawing balls used in lottery drawings to keep certain numbers from being selected.

That last part isn’t true, and the sales cut-off times in the games are there for a reason. Here’s the back story:

Sales cut-off times are one of the security processes that lotteries use to ensure that everything is ready to go for a drawing. With millions – and sometimes billions – of dollars involved in our drawings, it’s obviously important that mistakes are avoided!

Before a drawing can be held, all the lotteries in that game have to verify that their sales figures balance and all plays are recorded in the system. It’s a meticulous process, and we know it’s what the public expects.

The good news is that as computer speeds and technology have improved through the years, it now requires much less time to accomplish that work. So today, our sales cut-off times here in Iowa are an hour or less before our drawings. Years ago, the sales cut-off times were often two hours before the drawing, but we’ve been able to reduce that. And we hope it’s a convenience for our players and retailers.

I would imagine there will always be some time required for balancing and verification before a drawing can happen, but perhaps in the future, the time involved can be even shorter than it is today.

The exact sales cut-off times vary from state to state, depending upon the requirements in that particular state. Check your state lottery’s website for the information that applies in your area.

And when it comes to the drawings themselves, there are multiple layers of security involved.

For example, the machines and sets of numbered balls used in the drawings are kept in double-locked and sealed vaults, and are only taken out when the drawing manager, security officer, and independent auditor are all present.

And those aren’t ping-pong balls in the machines. The drawing balls are actually made of rubber and have to meet exact specifications through testing, weighing and measuring.

Multiple sets of balls are available for the drawings along with multiple sets of machines. The exact machines and numbered balls used in each drawing are randomly selected and everything that happens with them once they’re out of the vault is recorded on audio and video.

There also are testing procedures leading up to each drawing, with the entire process carried out under the supervision of an auditor and security officials.

April 02, 2020

Powerball & Mega Millions Changing, We’re Offering Free Plays For “Multi-Draw” Tickets Involved

***This blog entry has been updated to include details about changes to the Mega Millions game that were announced on Friday, April 3, and to include a direct link to the web page with the claim form for free-play requests.***

After earlier changes were announced in Powerball®, the Mega Millions® game is now making similar adjustments. The deepening COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on everyday life is behind it all.

In both Powerball and Mega Millions, the starting jackpot amount will be eliminated along with any minimum amount that the jackpot will grow between drawings. Instead, both amounts will be determined on a drawing-by-drawing basis and announced ahead of the next upcoming drawing.

The adjustments are needed to ensure that ticket sales in both games can support their jackpots and other prizes. The deepening COVID-19 public health emergency has drastically impacted life for us all and altered normal consumer behavior, including ticket purchases in Powerball and Mega Millions. Interest rates also have declined amidst the health crisis, and that in turn drives down the annuity amount of the games’ jackpots.

The timing of the changes in each game is slightly different, based upon its drawing schedule. (Mega Millions drawings are at 10 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays, while Powerball drawings are at 9:59 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays.)

In Mega Millions: The jackpot for tonight’s drawing remains at an estimated $121 million annuity, $96.7 million lump-sum option. If the jackpot is won tonight, it will reset to a guaranteed $20 million for Tuesday’s drawing (April 7). If there is no jackpot winner tonight, the game’s grand prize will roll to an estimated $127 million annuity for Tuesday. From that point on, the game’s starting jackpot and the rate at which the jackpot increases will be based upon sales and interest rates, with no fixed minimums.

In Powerball: The jackpot for tomorrow night’s drawing remains at an estimated $180 million annuity, $144.8 million lump-sum option. If the jackpot is won tomorrow, it will reset to a guaranteed $20 million annuity for Wednesday’s drawing (April 8). If there is no jackpot winner tomorrow, the game’s grand prize will roll to an estimated $190 million annuity for Wednesday. From that point on, the game’s starting jackpot and the rate at which the jackpot increases will be based upon sales and interest rates, with no fixed minimums.

The leadership of the Powerball Product Group and the Mega Millions Consortium, which are made of up the member-lottery directors in each game, will determine the jackpot details for it.

We know that some of our players may have used the “multi-draw” option to purchase plays in upcoming Powerball and Mega Millions drawings. Those plays, of course, are still valid, but are now impacted by the upcoming jackpot changes.

As a goodwill gesture, we’re offering those players free-play coupons for use in future drawings of the game they played. To be eligible for free-play coupons:

  • In Mega Millions, an Iowa Lottery player must have purchased a multi-draw ticket no later than 4 p.m. today (April 3) for a Mega Millions drawing held on April 7 or later.
  • In Powerball, an Iowa Lottery player must have purchased a multi-draw ticket no later than 4 p.m. yesterday (April 2) for a Powerball drawing held on April 8 or later.

Details about the free plays along with the form you’ll need to complete and send to us to request free-play coupons are available here on the lottery’s website.

I’ll add in just a quick personal note to close out this blog entry: I know that these Mega Millions and Powerball changes are coming on top of the many, many other changes that we’re all experiencing. Just know that they’re not being made on a whim or at random. They’re being made because the games and the prizes they offer are based upon mathematics. And there simply aren’t enough ticket sales occurring to continue the games in their previous format.

We understand that folks have much more important issues on their minds these days than purchasing lotto tickets, and in many instances, they’re simply not in a position to buy them at all. Safety is what matters now, and all of us getting through this together.

But in the meantime, changes have to be made on many different fronts, including in these two games.

The facts behind the fun. ]]>