Virginia Lottery Cashes In As Mega Millions Jackpot Grows

Written By Russ Mitchell on July 27, 2022 - Last Updated on August 4, 2022
Virginia Lottery education funding is a big winner.

Virginia Lottery customers could go to bed Friday night with dreams of becoming a billionaire. But the odds are astronomical, so Virginia Mega Millions customers may wake up Saturday with a prizeless ticket and more funding for education instead.

No one hit the five white balls and Mega Ball for a big win Tuesday night. So, Friday’s Mega Millions jackpot will exceed $1 billion for only the third time in the game’s 20-year history. About 12 hours passed since Tuesday’s unsuccessful drawing and the new estimated jackpot is already $1.02 billion.

That’s likely to change as lines form at convenience stores around the country. Pat McDonald chairs the nationwide Mega Millions Consortium. He said:

‘We look with anticipation on the growing jackpot. Seeing the jackpot build over a period of months and reaching the billion-dollar mark is truly breathtaking. We encourage customers to keep play in balance and enjoy the ride. Someone is going to win.”

How to play Mega Millions

The lottery game holds Mega Millions drawings at 11 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Players in $2 Mega Millions choose their first five numbers from a pool of 70. Meanwhile, another number – called the Mega Ball – comes from a separate pool of 25. The Megaplier option is available for an extra $1 per play.

The prize breakdown and odds are:

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

Virginia and Washington D.C. residents can buy Mega Millions tickets online. They just need to register at the appropriate lottery site (Virginia Lottery or District of Columbia lottery) to begin the purchase process.

Virginia Lottery still waiting for an all-time Mega Millions win

Of the 10 largest jackpots in Mega Millions history, the California Lottery leads the way with three wins. No tickets bought in Virginia or the District of Columbia have claimed a top-10 win.

AmountDateTicket Location
1.$1.537 billionOct. 23, 2018South Carolina
2.$1.1 billion (est.)July 29, 2022Current Jackpot
3.$1.050 billionJan. 22, 2021Michigan
4.$656 million March 30, 2012 (3) Maryland, Illinois and Kansas
5.$648 millionDec. 17, 2013(2) California and Georgia
6.$543 millionJuly 24, 2018California
7.$536 millionJuly 8, 2016Indiana
8.$533 millionMarch 30, 2018New Jersey
9.$522 millionJune 7, 2019California
10.$516 millionMay 21, 2021Pennsylvania

Virginia is a guaranteed winner when a lotto climbs into the stratosphere.

Proceeds from the Virginia Lottery go toward K-12 public education in the state. That includes both lotto games and scratch ticket purchases. In Fiscal Year 2021, lottery proceeds generated $766 million for public schools. In addition, any unclaimed ticket wins go into Virginia’s Literary Fund for “public-school construction, renovations and technology upgrades.”

Be sure to check your Mega Millions ticket, even if you don’t land the billion-dollar win. In FY 2021, Virginia transferred $10.3 million to the Literary Fund because winners didn’t catch their win and cash in.


Photo by Jae C. Hong / 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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