Mega Millions Jackpot Reaches $400 Million

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The Mega Millions jackpot is reaching record levels. With no jackpot winner in Tuesday’s drawing, the jackpot for Dec. 13, 2013, drawing is an estimated $400 million. This is the second-largest jackpot in Mega Millions history, and the fifth-largest ever in North America.

“We are excited about yet another large jackpot and the possibility that someone right here in West Virginia could be the next millionaire or even our largest jackpot winner ever,” said John Musgrave, Director of the West Virginia Lottery. “Mega Millions offers our players the chance at a large jackpot and costs only $1 to play. It fits well in our game mix and we are anticipating a lot of interest with this large jackpot.”

If one ticket matches all six numbers for the $400 million mega-jackpot, the winner will have the choice of receiving the full jackpot in 30 annual payments, or a cash option of approximately $216.4 million before taxes.

This jackpot has been growing since Oct. 1, when Mega Millions had its most recent jackpot winner. The jackpot has now rolled 20 times without a winner.

This is the largest jackpot since changes were made to Mega Millions that include larger starting jackpots, a million-dollar second prize, and a new matrix of 1-75 for the first five numbers and 1-15 for the Mega Ball number. One thing that did not change is the price of a Mega Millions ticket: still $1.

The odds of winning the jackpot are approximately one in 259 million. The odds of winning any of the Mega Millions prizes are approximately 1 in 15. Mega Millions holds the record for the largest jackpot ever, at $656 million. That jackpot on March 30, 2012, was split by three winning tickets in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland.

Mega Millions is played in 45 jurisdictions (43 states plus the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands). Drawings are held Tuesdays and Fridays at 11:00 p.m. Eastern Time.