Mary Neubauer

The Mega Millions estimated jackpot for tonight’s drawing has been increased.

Iowa Lottery spokesperson, Mary Neubauer, says increased sales prompted the change. “The jackpot for Tuesday’s drawing at this point is an estimated 810 million dollars annuity with a $471 million cash option. And I say at this point, because it’s really kind of into the unpredictable territory now,” Neubauer says.

She says sales pick up rapidly when jackpots hit this type of number. “And that causes the jackpot to be raised, sometimes in between drawings, just like what happened with this amount now. So by the time the drawing happens at 10 p-m, it may be even higher than it is now,” Neubauer says.

Neubauer says this jackpot would be the third biggest in Mega Millions history. “We have a long ways to go before we hit the record territory. The biggest jackpot in the Mega Millions game was more than…one-point-five billion dollars, won in October 2018, in South Carolina,” according to Neubauer. “But it is definitely climbing and lots and lots of folks are talking about it, that’s for sure.”

She says many new players jump in when the jackpots increase — and it doesn’t matter how many buy tickets — your odds don’t change. “I think there are all sorts of superstitions or beliefs out there. But you know, the odds are the same for every ticket purchased in the game, the odds never change, you know, if the odds changed with every ticket that you bought, we would never be able to predict what they are. So the odds and megamillions come from all of the different ways that you can combine the numbers in the game to make a play,” she explains.

And those odds are pretty long. “The odds of winning in Mega Millions are about one in 302.6 million,” she says. One thing that is known about the jackpot is lottery terminals will be busy today.

“The majority of tickets for any particular drawing are purchased on the day of the drawing. I think we as human beings procrastinate, and we even procrastinate when it comes to buying lottery tickets,” Neubauer says. “So just keep in mind, there is a sales cut off for Tuesday night’s drawing the sales cut off here in Iowa is 8:59 p.m.,” Neubauer says.

If you buy a ticket after that, it would be for the next drawing..