Iowa Lottery Facts And Tips For That Huge Mega Millions Jackpot

Written By Russ Mitchell on July 28, 2022
Mega Millions Jackpot Iowa

The lines are begginning to form at Iowa convenience stores and customer service counters as the $1 billion Mega Millions jackpot awaits Friday’s drawing.

Technically, the estimated jackpot is at $1.1 billion as of Thursday night, according to an Iowa Lottery and Mega Millions update:

“When the jackpot reaches this level, it becomes harder to predict the grand-prize estimate heading into the next drawing. Stronger sales mean the jackpot will go even higher.”

The odds and prize breakdowns are:

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

The Iowa Lottery said three tickets were just one number away from having at least a share of Tuesday’s Mega Millions jackpot. They each matched 4-of-5 white balls and the Mega Ball to win a $10,000 prize. One of the three customers bought the Megaplier option, so he or she multiplied the near miss for $30,000.

The $10,000-winning tickets were purchased at:

  • the Seventh Ave. Kum & Go in Marion
  • the Peosta Kwik Stop and
  • the $30,000-winning (Megaplier) ticket at the Madison Ave. Casey’s General Store in Council Bluffs.

New Iowa signs help you follow a Mega Millions jackpot

For much of the Iowa Lottery’s history, the digital jackpot tote boards in convenience store windows topped out at $999 million.

However, the Iowa Lottery updated all of its jackpot signs in September 2021. Newer signs can now display billion (with a “B”) jackpots.

Counting Friday’s whopper, only four lotto jackpots have ever crossed the $1 billion threshold. The Jan. 13, 2016 Powerball drawing reached $1.586 billion. That remains the US record for a lottery, but it could be in jeopardy if no one hits the six numbers Friday night.

Mega Millions boasts the other three billion-dollar jackpots. Here’s a look at the overall Mega Millions top 10:

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

More tips ahead of Friday’s jackpot

Polls are common when the jackpots get huge. To keep a big win from turning ugly be sure to:

  • Keep an accurate list of everyone who puts in money for a particular drawing and note how much they contribute.
  • Provide everyone in your pool with photos or copies of the group’s tickets before the drawing.
  • If you buy for the pool — then want even more plays on your own — make the personal purchase at a different time and/or retailer to avoid any controversy.

Players can choose their own numbers, but about 94 percent of lotto purchases use the easy pick option. The odds are the same.

And, remember the smaller prizes. Iowa Lottery customers unknowingly throw away millions of dollars each year because they disregard non-jackpot tickets or miss a scratch-ticket win.

Russ Mitchell Avatar
Written by
Russ Mitchell

Russ Mitchell has been covering news and sports in northwest Iowa since 1997, including 11 years as managing editor for one of the most acclaimed community newspapers in the state. He looks forward to keeping readers up to date on the growing sportsbook industry in Iowa.

View all posts by Russ Mitchell