Powerball, Mega Millions jackpots both above $800 million for first time

CLIVE — The Powerball and Mega Millions drawings are both above $800 million.

Iowa Lottery spokeswoman Mary Neubauer says that’s something new. “Both Mega Millions and Powerball have been higher than they currently are, much higher than they currently are actually, but both jackpots have never at the same time been at the level that they are right now,” she says.

Nobody won last night’s $800 million Powerball drawing, with the jackpot climbing to an estimated $865 million for Wednesday. The Mega Millions jackpot tonight is estimated at $1.1 billion. “Powerball itself has the world record for a lottery jackpot that’s a little more than two billion dollars. That prize was won back in November of 2022,” Neubauer says. “And then for Mega Millions, its largest prize ever was a jackpot of more than $1.6 billion, and that was won in August of 2023.”

Neubauer says no matter how big the jackpots go, one thing remains constant. “Through all the years the busiest day for sales is always the day of the drawing. I think people just put it off and then they realize like ‘oh if I’m gonna get in on tonight’s big prize I better stop and buy a ticket’,” she says.

Past history also shows many people get a ticket on the way home from work. “From about 4 p-m to 7 p-m as a lot of folks are getting off work and heading home, that’s when sales really spike,” Neubauer says. “So I think the key thing for everybody to remember is that here in Iowa if you want a ticket for the big drawing that you’re wanting to get in on, you have to buy tickets by 8:59 p-m.”

The Powerball jackpot that’s up for grabs tonight has growing since it was last won on New Year’s Day. The winner could take home a lump sum of nearly $416 million. The Mega Millions drawing takes place later tonight.