Press Room

For First Time, Two Jackpots Of More Than $100 Million Up For Grabs In Iowa

Powerball® And Mega Millions® Jackpots Rank No. 1 and No. 2 In World

DES MOINES, Iowa - For the first time in Iowa history, lottery players have the chance to play for two jackpots of more than $100 million. The Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots both jumped past the $100 million mark over the weekend.

The Mega Millions jackpot is at an estimated $112 million for Tuesday's drawing, while the Powerball jackpot has grown to an estimated $114 million for Wednesday's drawing. The Powerball jackpot is currently the largest in the world, while the Mega Millions jackpot comes in a close second.

"This is what we'd hoped for when Mega Millions and Powerball both began to be offered by lotteries across the country," Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich said Monday. "Iowa players are having the chance to play for even more big prizes."

Powerball and Mega Millions are both lotto games with jackpots that have climbed into the hundreds of millions of dollars. But until January, the games had been sold in separate jurisdictions. An agreement among U.S. lottery directors to allow cross-selling of the games was reached in October and many lotteries, including Iowa, began offering both games on Jan. 31.

"This has gone from an exciting concept to a change that's proving popular with our players," Rich said. "Players had been asking for the chance to buy both Powerball and Mega Millions tickets and we're happy to be delivering what they wanted."

The Mega Millions jackpot was last won in the drawing on Jan. 29. William Kiefer of Katy, Texas, claimed that $144 million prize.

The Powerball jackpot was last won in the drawing on Feb. 6. Frank Griffin of Asheville, N.C., a retired firefighter, won that prize of $141.4 million.

COMPARISON OF POWERBALL AND MEGA MILLIONS

POWERBALL: The jackpot starts at $20 million and grows until it's won. Players in the game choose five numbers from a pool of 59 and another number - the Powerball - from a separate pool of 39. If you match all six numbers, you win the jackpot. Tickets in the game cost $1 and drawings are at 9:59 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

For an extra $1 per play, Powerball players can add the Power Play® option to their tickets, which can multiply their prizes (except the jackpot) by up to five times. And, for those players who choose the Power Play and match the five white balls (regularly a $200,000 prize), the multiplier will always be 5, so those players win an instant $1 million.

MEGA MILLIONS: The jackpot starts at $12 million and grows until it's won. Players in the game choose five numbers from a pool of 56 and another number - the Mega Ball® - from a separate pool of 46 numbers. If you match all six numbers, you win the jackpot. Tickets in the game cost $1 and drawings are at 10 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Mega Millions also has a multiplier feature called the Megaplier®. For an extra $1 per play, Mega Millions players can add the Megaplier option to their tickets, which can multiply their prizes (except the jackpot) by up to four times.

JACKPOTS: Jackpot winners in both games can choose to receive their prize in a one-time, lump-sum payment or in annuitized payments over time. Powerball jackpot winners who choose the annuity option receive their prize in payments over 29 years. Mega Millions jackpot winners who choose the annuity option receive their prize in payments over 25 years.

The largest Powerball jackpot to date was a $365 million prize won in February 2006. It was split by a group of eight co-workers at a Nebraska meat-packing plant. The largest Mega Millions jackpot thus far was a $390 million prize split in March 2007 by two tickets purchased in Georgia and New Jersey.

The Iowa Lottery has had six Powerball jackpot winners. The largest Powerball jackpot won in Iowa was a $200.8 million prize claimed in October 2006 by Tim and Kellie Guderian, a Fort Dodge couple.