Mega Millions prize soars to $810M, third-largest jackpot ever

A $2 lottery ticket could pay off big if you end of winning the Mega Millions jackpot.

Tuesday night's Mega Millions lottery is worth a whopping $810 million. That the third-largest jackpot ever.

While the odds you match all six winning lottery numbers is slim, people in Atlanta are still fantasizing about what they'd do with that kind of cash.

"That's so much money. I could say anything I want to do ... maybe try to buy a small sports franchise," Conner Jones said.

The jackpot has grown from the $20 million it started at in April since no players have matched all six winning lottery numbers.

"First thing I'm doing is going to buy a massive amount of land, and I'm taking me and my family, and we're getting out of here. We're ghosting," one woman told FOX 5 on the BeltLine.


Mega Millions lottery tickets are sold at a 7-Eleven store in the Loop on January 22, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo Illustration by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Of course, the odds aren't in your favor at one in 302.5 million. You have better odds of a smaller payoff, such as winning $1 million for matching five regular numbers but missing the Mega Ball. But even that is one in 12.6 million. To put that in perspective, your chance of dying in a car crash — something to consider as you drive to the mini-mart for a lottery ticket — is around one in 101 over a lifetime, according to the nonprofit National Safety Council.

If you do win, you can either take the full jackpot prize given out in payments over 30 years, or you can take the cash prize, which would be worth an estimated $470.1 million. After taxes, it would land you somewhere around $300 million - which is still enough money for people to make big plans.


"I live outside the country, but I'm originally from Atlanta, so I would probably buy a second home right here on the BeltLine," Allison Joly said,

"For starters, I would never work again. I'd invest some of the money - probably go to Vegas," London Marshall said.

With so many people playing now that the potential top prize is so large, it becomes increasingly likely that someone or multiple players will finally end that streak. Still, past prizes have grown larger, as the biggest payday was a $1.586 billion Powerball jackpot won in 2016.

Mega Millions is played in 45 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The game is overseen by state lottery officials.

If you have fun dreaming of a massive windfall that most likely won’t actually blow your way, buy a ticket. But if you need to watch your money, consider keeping the $2 in your wallet.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.