LINCOLN – Two big jackpots are up for grabs in this week’s Mega Millions® and Powerball® drawings. Because of these high jackpots, the Nebraska Lottery reminds customers to play responsibly.
A string of drawings without a jackpot winner has grown the estimated Mega Millions jackpot to the second largest amount in the game’s history. The Mega Millions jackpot starts at $40 million and continues to grow by at least $5 million each drawing until it is won. There have been 23 consecutive drawings since July 27 without a jackpot winner. This run has grown the estimated jackpot for the Tuesday, October 16 drawing to $654 million or $372.6 million with the cash option selected.
Powerball has also seen its jackpot grow over the last few months. There have been 18 drawings since August 15 without a jackpot winner, growing the estimated jackpot for the Wednesday, October 17 drawing to $345 million or $199 million with the cash option selected.
The largest Mega Millions jackpot on record occurred in March 2012 when three winners in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland split a $656 million jackpot. The largest Powerball jackpot on record occurred in January 2016 when three winners in California, Florida and Tennessee split a $1.586 billion jackpot.
Because of the high jackpots, the Nebraska Lottery encourages customers to play within their means. “It’s important for Nebraska Lottery players to remember that no matter how large the jackpot is, the odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 302 million, and the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292 million,” said Lottery Director Brian Rockey. “Your odds of winning remain the same, regardless of how many tickets are purchased or how many people play.” If you or someone you know has a problem with compulsive gambling, please call the Nebraska Problem Gambling Help Line toll free at 800-522-4700.
The mission of the Nebraska Lottery is to generate proceeds for good causes while providing quality entertainment options to Nebraskans. Over $704 million has been raised for the Nebraska Lottery’s beneficiary funds since the Lottery began in 1993. All 93 counties in Nebraska have benefited from projects funded with these Nebraska Lottery proceeds.
The jackpot amounts may change before the drawings depending on ticket sales. Visit nelottery.com for the current jackpot amount.