Friday night’s drawing for the Mega Millions lottery game will be for an estimated $400 million. Mary Neubauer is spokesperson for the Iowa Lottery. “It’s the second largest jackpot in the history of the Mega Millions game and it’s number five on the list of the world’s largest jackpots,” Neubauer says. There was no jackpot winner in Tuesday’s drawing, meaning a winner Friday could choose a $400 million annuity or a cash option of just over $216 million.
A Mega Millions jackpot hasn’t been won since October 1. The game is offered in 43 states. A lot of Iowans will be buying tickets for the drawing, which falls on a Friday the 13th, which some might associate with bad luck. “We’re choosing to think of this Friday as ‘lucky Friday the 13th,'” Neubauer says.
She also notes that big lottery jackpots have become somewhat of a tradition around the holidays. “This is the fourth year in row where there has been a big jackpot at holiday time. Obviously, we’re not planning that out, that’s just how it’s happened,” Neubauer says. “It’s just interesting that on top of the holiday rush, we’re adding the jackpot mania in there too.”
Although there wasn’t a single ticket matching all five numbers in Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing, over 37,000 tickets purchase in Iowa won prizes. “Those ranged from just $1 for matching the Mega Ball by itself — up to $5,000 with those folks matched four of the first five numbers,” Neubauer said. Ticket sales for Friday’s drawing end at 8:59 p.m. that day.