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Mega Millions jackpot soars to $476 million, highest so far

With no winner in Tuesday’s (March 27) Mega Millions lottery draw, the jackpot amount has reached a staggering $476 million for the next draw to held on Friday, March 30, making it the highest Mega Millions jackpot amount so far.

The jackpot numbers on Tuesday’s draw were 9-19-34-44-51 and 24 for the Mega number. The odds of winning the jackpot are approximately one in 176 million, while the odds of winning any prize are approximately 1 in 40. This jackpot amount has been growing since the last winning ticket on January 24.

Initially called Big Game, it was started on August 31, 1996 and the first draw was held on September 6, 1996, with six states in the United States participating — Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan and Virginia.

In 1998, a Tuesday draw was added and in 1999, the players were given a larger choice of numbers and a “cash payout” option. In May 1999, New Jersey became the seventh member state.

In May 2002, the multi-state game was re-named “Mega Millions” and New York and Ohio too became member states, and the game matrix and prize amounts were changed to offer players more excitement.

In September 2002, Washington became the 10th member state, followed by Texas in December 2003. In June 2005, California became the 12th member, solidifying Mega Millions as the country’s most widely played multi-state jackpot game.

On March 6, 2007, Mega Millions again made history with a jackpot of $390 million – setting the record for the largest jackpot in North America.

On January 31, 2010, 23 more state lotteries joined Mega Millions as an historic cross-selling agreement between Mega Millions and Powerball went into effect. With additional lotteries joining since then, Mega Millions is now played in 44 jurisdictions: 42 states plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Here is a list of the ten largest Mega Millions jackpots so far:

Rank Amount Date Number of
Winning Tickets
States With Winning Tickets
1 $390 million 3/6/2007 2 Georgia, New Jersey
2 $380 million 1/4/2011 2 Idaho, Washington
3 $336 million 8/28/2009 2 California, New York
4 $330 million 8/31/2007 4 Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, Virginia
5 $319 million 3/25/2011 1 New York
6 $315 million 11/15/2005 1 California
7 $294 million 7/2/2004 1 Massachusetts
8 $275 million 2/22/2008 1 Georgia
9 $270 million 2/28/2006 1 Ohio
10 $266 million 5/04/2010 1 California

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