A lot of money is at stake in this week’s lottery drawings with an estimated $850 million in Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing and an estimated $730 million in Wednesday’s Powerball jackpot. That’s a combined $1.58 billion, before taxes, and roughly $632 million in combined taxes for a lump-sum payment of $948 million.
A top five total for each respective lottery. The Mega Millions jackpot is the second-largest in the game’s history, behind the $1.537 billion whopping record payout in October 2018. Lottery officials said someone in South Carolina matched the numbers, but didn’t come forward right away to claim the $877.8 lump-sum payment two years ago. The fourth-highest total for Powerball with the largest total in the game’s history at $1.586 billion in January 2016.
Lottery winners who opt for a 30-year annuity would take home $18.2 million per year in Powerball and $20.9 million per year in Mega Millions until 2051.
However the odds are stacked against anyone playing either game. For Powerball, it currently stands at 1 in 292.2 million. As for Mega Millions, the 1 in 302.6 million odds are tougher to overcome. And the chances of winning both are nearly impossible.
To put into reference, you’re 55 times more likely to be involved in a plane crash; 75 times more likely to suffer a shark bite; 600 times more likely to be struck by lightning; and 5,550 times more likely to die from a bee sting than win either game.
Mega Millions and Powerball are both played in 45 states as well as Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Island and Puerto Rico.