Mega Millions, Powerball jackpots total nearly $1 billion

Harrisburg >> The Mega Millions® and Powerball® jackpots, now with respective annuity values of $445 million and $550 million, have never been this high at the same time. For only $4, players can play both games and chase separate jackpots totaling $995 million.

The Mega Millions jackpot for the Friday, January 5, drawing is worth a $445 million annuity value or a $277.6 million cash prize. Mega Millions costs $2 to play. The Powerball jackpot for Saturday, January 6, stands at a $550 million annuity value or a $347.9 million cash prize. A Powerball ticket costs $2.

“We ask players to always play responsibly, no matter the jackpot level,” said Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko, noting that pooling ticket purchases with friends can be a fun way to play responsibly.

In Pennsylvania, tickets for both games are sold until 9:59 p.m. on drawing nights. Players are encouraged to play early to avoid the possibility of encountering lines at retailers.

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Pennsylvania has sold 17 Powerball jackpot-winning tickets since joining the game in 2002, and two jackpot-winning Mega Millions tickets since joining the game in 2010. Pennsylvania’s largest Powerball prize was a $110.2 million cash-value jackpot claimed by a New Jersey couple in 2004. The state’s largest Mega Millions jackpot was a $91.8 million cash-value prize claimed by a Virginia man in 2015.

While lottery fever is high, hitting the jackpot is extremely slim. Here are a few absurd occurrences that are more likely to happen than you hitting all six Mega Millions digits:

Killed by falling airplane parts: one in 10 million.

Birthing identical quadruplets: one in 13 million.

Becoming a saint: one in 20 million.

Making two holes-in-one in one round of golf: one in 67 million.

Killed by a falling coconut: one in 250 million.

Killed by an asteroid impact: one in 74.8 million.

Powerball and Mega Millions are played in 44 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Visit palottery.com for details on how to play.

The Pennsylvania Lottery remains the only state lottery to direct all proceeds to programs that benefit older residents. Since ticket sales began in 1972, it has contributed nearly $28 billion to fund property tax and rent rebates, transportation, care services, prescription assistance, and local services including senior centers and meals.