Mega Millions hits $565 million, but prize isn’t even in the top 10

The winning numbers in Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing are 9-13-36-59-61-11.

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David Peralta, a 67-year-old retired technical college instructor, buys a Mega Millions ticket at a Kansas Lottery machine in a Dillons grocery, Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, in Topeka, Kan. Peralta says he buys lottery tickets regularly and said he’s likely to help others if he wins a big jackpot because, “I don’t know if I need that much.” (AP Photo/John Hanna)

David Peralta, a retired technical college instructor, buys a Mega Millions ticket in Topeka, Kansas on Tuesday.


OMAHA, Neb. — Someone could win more than half a billion dollars in the Mega Millions lottery Tuesday, but that jackpot wouldn’t even rank in the top 10 as the prizes have grown bigger in recent years.

The current Mega Millions has been building since Oct. 14 as 20 drawings passed without a winner, but the estimated $565 million prize pales in comparison to the record $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot that was won in November by someone in Southern California.

The 10 biggest lottery jackpots ever are all bigger than $687 million, with all of those coming since 2016. The largest Mega Millions jackpot ever was more than $1.5 billion, won in 2018, and a jackpot surpassing $1.3 billion was won in northwest suburban Des Plaines in July.

And Tuesday’s top prize of $565 million is for the annuity option that is paid out annually over 29 years. The cash option would pay $293.6 million.

Tuesday’s winning numbers are 9, 13, 36, 59, 61 and Mega Ball 11, plus Megaplier 2.

When the jackpots grow this large more people buy tickets, increasing the chances that someone will win.

David Peralta, a 67-year-old retired technical college instructor, bought a $3 jackpot-only Mega Millions ticket at a Dillons grocery in Topeka, Kansas, because he had a few extra dollars and “to see if we get lucky.” He buys a few tickets regularly and said the jackpot attracted him, though he said he’s not sure he needs that much money.

“I could help out a lot of people,” he said.

But the odds of winning remain long at one in 302.6 million, and the jackpot will continue growing if no one wins Tuesday’s drawing. The odds improve slightly by buying multiple tickets, but even buying 100 tickets would only give you a 100 in 302.6 million chance.

But lottery officials say the $2 tickets offer an affordable way to daydream about a life-changing prize.

Mega Millions is played in every state except Nevada, Utah, Alabama, Alaska and Hawaii plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Associated Press writer John Hanna contributed to this story from Topeka, Kansas.

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