Happier new year: $800 million in jackpots await lucky winners

Mega Millions: More expensive to enter, harder to win

Both the Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots now are in the top 25 all-time USA lottery jackpot list - both for the annuity value and the cash value. Mega Millions has odds of one in 302.6 million and Powerball is slightly better at one in 292.2 million.

The Mega Millions drawing will take place Tuesday night, offering players an annuity jackpot of $343 million, paid over 29 years.

But that didn't stop people from buying tickets to both games in recent days. Powerball hasn't had such a big prize since August, when a MA player won a $758.7 million jackpot.

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The combined total for those two prizes: $783 million.

The Mega Millions drawing is televised every Tuesday and Friday at 11 p.m. on selected television stations.

"It's great when anyone wins a jackpot but particularly when it's someone in your own state", Massachusetts State Lottery spokesman Christian Teja told USA TODAY.

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Tickets cost $2 each, and both games offer a multiplier feature ("Megaplier" for Mega Millions and "Power Play" for Powerball) that can be purchased for an extra $1 per play.

It's a huge amount of money, but the eye-popping numbers are more common than they used to be. The drawing for Powerball is Wednesday night.

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