VA Lottery Mega Millions $1.1 Billion Advice: Buy Early

Written By Russ Mitchell on January 9, 2023 - Last Updated on March 27, 2024
VA Lottery Mega Millions

For the second time in about two months, a lotto draw cracked that headline-grabbing $1 billion jackpot level. And, the VA Lottery has some Mega Million advice for customers who line up at more than 5,300 retail locations statewide.

Buy your tickets early to avoid the convenience store lines. Or, go online to play. Online VA Lottery sales include Mega Millions, Powerball and instant win games as well.

Lottery officials counted more than 122,000 winning tickets for the Friday, Jan. 6, drawing. The total includes one VA Lottery Mega Millions ticket that won $10,000. Check your numbers if you purchased Mega Millions plays at the Giant Food supermarket on Franklin Farm Road in Herndon. The winning ticket matched four of the first five numbers and the gold Mega Ball.

The winning numbers in Friday night’s drawing were 3-20-46-59-63, and Mega Ball 13.

Mega Millions drawings are held at 11 p.m. on Tuesday and Friday nights. Even though Friday’s draw produced 122,000 winners in the state, the odds of actually matching all six numbers to win the jackpot are 1 in 302,575,350. The overall odds of winning any prize are 1 in 24 no matter where you’re at in the country.

Altogether, 45 states, the District of Columbia and US Virgin Islands offer Mega Millions. The exceptions are Alabama, Utah, Nevada, Alaska and Hawaii.

VA Lottery Mega Millions is in all-time jackpot territory

Mega Millions was last won on Oct. 14, so the jackpot has been growing for nearly three months.

Tuesday’s drawing now features the third-highest jackpot in Mega Millions history and the fifth-largest US lottery jackpot ever.

Most Mega Millions and Powerball customers purchase “easy-pick” numbers. In that case, the terminal at a retail counter randomly selects your numbers.

The games are designed to let customers play their favorite numbers as well.

Neither option is “luckier,” according to lottery officials. The odds are still the same.

The odds and prize breakdowns are:

  • The jackpot for the correct Mega Ball and all five numbers (1-in-302,575,350)
  • $1 million for five correct numbers excluding the Mega Ball (1-in-12,607,306)
  • $10,000 for the correct Mega Ball plus four correct numbers (1-in-931,001)
  • $500 for four correct numbers excluding Mega Ball (1-in-38,792)
  • $200 for the correct Mega Ball + any three numbers (1-in-14,547)
  • $10 for the correct Mega Ball + any two numbers (1-in-693) or any three numbers (1-in-606)
  • $4 for the correct Mega Ball + any other number (1-in-89)
  • $2 for the correct Mega Ball (1-in-37)

Tips for Tuesday

Pools are common when the jackpots get huge. To keep a win from causing tension, be sure to:

  • Keep an accurate list of everyone who puts in money for a particular drawing and note how much they contribute.
  • Provide everyone in your pool with photos or copies of the group’s tickets before the drawing.
  • If you buy for the pool — then want even more plays on your own — make the personal purchase at a different time and/or retailer to avoid any conspiracy theories.

Take time to review your ticket for smaller prizes as well. VA Lottery customers unknowingly throw away millions of dollars each year because they disregard non-jackpot tickets or miss a scratch-ticket win.

Any unclaimed prizes go into Virginia’s Literary Fund, which provides low-interest loans for public school construction, renovations and technology upgrades.

Also remember: You won’t technically be a billionaire for two reasons:

  • Taxes, of course
  • And, the $1.1 billion comes as an annuity. If you use the cash option, the payout adds up to $568.7 million before taxes.
Photo by Charles Krupa / AP
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Russ Mitchell

Russ Mitchell covered news and sports in Iowa since 1997, including 11 years as managing editor for one of the most decorated community newspapers in the state. He joined PlayIA as a lead writer and managing editor in 2021. He anxious to explore the growing Virginia gaming industry.

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