Mega Millions Jackpot Hits Historic $560m, California Tops Winning States List

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The excitement of winning a life-changing amount of money is palpable as the Mega Millions lottery game approaches its Tuesday night drawing, with the advertised jackpot standing at a staggering $560 million. This considerable prize ranks as the ninth richest in the history of the interstate lottery game.

By superbly crunching numbers and analyzing mountains of data, Adwise Research – an intelligence firm based in New York, specializing in iGaming and lottery information – has recently presented interesting insights. Brooding over Mega Millions data from as far back as October 2017 up until January 2024, the study uncovers interesting patterns and elements in the land of luck and chance.

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The most striking revelation? Not all states are created equal when it comes to the frequency of jackpot and major secondary prize winners. The Golden State, California, leads the charge, accounting for the lion’s share of wins during the previously mentioned period. Following closely are the Empire State, New York, and the Garden State, New Jersey, while Florida holds the fourth spot.

While this might seem surprising, a deeper glimpse reveals that it’s not so shocking. After all, California is the most populous state in the U.S, and with more residents comes more potential lottery players. Similarly, New York is the fourth-most populous, and Florida ranks third in the U.S. But the real head-turner is the success of New Jersey, only the 11th most populous state.

Examining individual tickets, eight each from California and New York have won the Mega Millions jackpot since 2017. New Jersey has had five winning Mega Millions tickets, with the perfect match of six drawn numbers, while Florida has experienced four lucky instances.

Gravitating towards specifics, the odds of a Mega Millions ticket matching the five white balls and the gold Mega Ball, as any seasoned player would know, is a minuscule one in 302,575,350. Despite these games of chance being utterly random, Adwise Research found that certain numbers seem to show up more frequently in the draw.

For example, the Mega Ball has often landed on higher numbers in the 18-25 range since 2017. Furthermore, the number 22 has proven to be the golden child amongst Mega Balls, hitting a record 35 times since 2017. Runner-ups include the numbers 11, 18, 24, and 25.

However, Adwise CEO Andriy Nezdopa cautions that as much as one might be tempted to study the game in hopes of discovering a hidden secret or pattern, the timeless truth remains: lottery games like Mega Millions are rooted in pure chance and luck. Each draw is an independent event, with equal probabilities for every number combination. The randomness of the lottery simply cannot be predicted or manipulated.

Tuesday night’s gargantuan $560 million Mega Millions prize can also be taken as a one-time cash option of approximately $248.4 million. The adrenaline-filled drawing will occur at 11 pm ET in the WSB-TV studio in Atlanta.

Each lottery enthusiast can get in on the excitement for a mere $2 per play. However, recent rumors suggest that the Mega Millions Consortium could potentially introduce a price increase to $5 per ticket. This is hinted by a recent development in Virginia, whose lottery machines have curtailed the advance purchase of Mega Millions tickets.

In the meantime, Powerball fans can look forward to the next draw tonight at 10:59 pm ET from the Florida Lottery draw studio in Tallahassee. The estimated jackpot currently stands at a whopping $171 million, with a cash value of $79.5 million. Powerball’s odds offer a comparatively better chance of winning the jackpot, around one in 292.2 million. All in all, it’s a sensational week for lottery enthusiasts.