Mega Millions Jackpot Hits $540 Million: The Numbers You Should Know
Money + Markets

Mega Millions Jackpot Hits $540 Million: The Numbers You Should Know

REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

The Mega Millions lottery has gone 34 straight drawings without a winner, meaning that by tonight's drawing at 11 p.m. EDT, the jackpot is expected to rise to $540 million.

That number could still grow as excitement over the pot builds and ticket sales continue. We can’t give you the winning numbers, but here are some other facts and figures to know ahead of the drawing, courtesy of Mega Millions.

$15 million: The starting Mega Millions jackpot.

$1.00: Cost of a single ticket.

9: Different levels of prizes, ranging from $1 to the jackpot.

Jackpot! These 10 States Make the Most Money From Lotteries

1 in 15: Overall chance of winning a prize from one of the nine different levels, ranging from $1 to the jackpot.

1 in 259 million: Chance of winning the jackpot with a single ticket. Your chances of dying by asteroid strike are higher: 1 in 74,817,414.

$380 million: Cash value of the lump-sum payment option, before taxes. Jackpot winners can choose between 30 annual payments that will add up to $540 million and a single cash payment of $380 million.

$229.5 million: Value of that lump-sum payment after federal taxes. The top federal tax bracket for 2016 is 39.6 percent, which applies on income of more than $415,050 for individuals or $466,950 for married filers. A quarter of the top prize is automatically withheld for the IRS, and the winner is still liable for the rest of their tax bill.

10: States that don’t impose a tax on lottery prizes: California, Delaware, Florida, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wyoming.

29 and 35: Most commonly drawn white balls in Mega Millions’ new matrix. These have been drawn 31 times each. The least commonly drawn ball is number 43.

Related: Here’s How States Profit from Powerball Madness

493 million: Winning tickets of all prize levels that Mega Millions has sold since October 2013.

$656 million: Largest Mega Millions prize to date. That jackpot was split among three winning tickets in March 2012.

9: Number of jackpots awarded by Mega Millions in 2014.

14: States that allowed lotteries in 1980.

43: States that allow lotteries today. You can also play in the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

$73.87 billion: Amount Americans spent on lottery tickets in 2015. That’s more than the $62.7 billion spent on music, movies, books, video games and sports teams combined in 2014.

$20.9 billion: Portion of that total that went to state and local governments.

11: Number of states in which more revenue came from lotteries than from state income tax in 2009.

4.5: Number of cars the average lottery winner buys for himself or for friends and family. One in 10 winners reportedly buys more than 10 cars.

5: Years after which 44 percent of lottery winners have blown through their prize money.