The Mega Millions jackpot crossed the $1 billion mark on Jan. 10. Not a single ticket matched all six numbers drawn on Tuesday, giving lottery players another chance to win an even bigger jackpot this Friday through the Ohio Lottery.
Estimated at a $1.35 billion annuity value, this week’s Friday the 13th jackpot ranks as the second-highest in the history of Mega Millions. The jackpot ranks as the fourth-highest in U.S. history, behind two Powerball prizes and another Mega Millions win.
The biggest win ever was the recent Powerball jackpot from November that reached just over $2 billion.
UPDATE: We have a winning ticket for the $1.35 billion Mega Millions jackpot. A ticket sold in Maine hit all five numbers in the the Friday, Jan. 13 drawing, along with the Mega Ball.
Two Ohioans win $1 million, miss jackpot by one number
Not all was lost in Tuesday’s drawing, though. Two tickets sold in Ohio matched the first five white balls drawn — 7-13-14-15-18 — but missed the yellow Mega Ball, which was 9. Hitting the first five numbers makes those tickets worth $1 million each, before taxes.
The Lottery has no way to know who bought the winning tickets until the players claim their prizes. But they do know where the tickets were sold. The winning tickets were sold by:
- The Party Pak, located at 201 South Sandusky Ave., Upper Sandusky
- Corner Carry Out, 537 South Maple St., Marysville
Mega Millions winners in Ohio have 180 days to claim prizes before they expire. Ohio has had 51 winners of the second-tier prize at $1 million or more since Mega Millions launched in the Buckeye State in 2013.
Huge jackpots increase the excitement, but not the odds of winning
With ticket sales now soaring, players can expect to see more non-jackpot winners at all prize levels. For example, 14 tickets in other states also matched the first five numbers to win at least $1 million on Tuesday.
However, it’s important to remember that the odds of hitting any prize always remain the same, no matter how high the jackpot goes or how many tickets are sold. We’re seeing more winners simply because more tickets are being purchased.
The odds of hitting the Mega Millions jackpot on a single ticket are 1 in 302.5 million. Hitting the second-tier prize is comparatively much more likely, with odds of 1 in 12.6 million, but it’s still a long shot. The rest of the prize levels have odds of less than 1 in a million, but the prizes get drastically smaller as the odds get better. The overall odds of hitting any prize are 1 in 24.
That said, as more people play more tickets, the chances are high that we’ll see a winner soon.
Ohio Lottery has yet to offer online tickets like some states do
Currently 12 states or lottery jurisdictions offer online sales of Mega Millions and other tickets, but Ohio does not sell lottery tickets online. Ohioans do, however, have the option to buy tickets online via a third-party app called Jackpocket. The app provides lottery tickets in 11 states, including in Ohio via a partnership with Circle K.
Ohio could be missing out on some additional revenue by not offering online ticket sales and online lottery games, which other states offer via their own iLottery sites and mobile apps. But, understandably, brick and mortar lottery retailers tend to oppose legalizing online ticket sales, as it could cut into their commissions.
There’s still a chance Ohio will offer iLottery in the future. Last year the Ohio Senate passed a bill by a 30-2 vote that would make online lottery possible in the state. But the bill ultimately stalled without a vote from the House. Ohioans will have to wait until the bill is taken up again to see where the chips fall on the issue.